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TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 20 July 2017
Probably the best laid out cookery course on the market. It assumes complete beginner status and teaches the reader how to cook simple to exotic dishes. All recipes are easy to follow, the advice is sound and ingredients easy to find. What more could you want from a cook book?

Recommended
6 people found this helpful
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on 21 June 2018
I bought this to replace a tattered 1982 copy. It does not matter if you don't know one end of a pan from another or a practiced cook of years standing, this book is a must have. It is not a complete bible but pretty much every technique a decent cook might need is covered. You don't necessarily get the exotic recipes, though there are some, but what you do get is the basis for doing just about everything.

Delia discusses kitchen equipment, shows techniques such as jointing a chicken, temperatures, dealing with fish and meat, cakes and jams etc. The recipes are generally straightforward and work. As you learn, you can use other resources to complement, such as the Internet. What this book does is give you the confidence to develop skills and a reference manual when you need it.

If you are or know someone who is just staring out in the culinary world, this is THE book to get them. If you are a competent cook, you probably already have one. Think of it as a cooks comfort blanket.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 26 October 2012
There are few cookery books that one can turn to and expect it to have a stab at almost anything you might look-up, but this one is almost it. While it does not cover every eventuality, and does have a few glaring omissions, (there's not recipe for plain fudge, for example), it does cover a wide range of starters, main courses, desserts, and so on. This is not just a recipe book, of course; it is a cookery course. As such, Smith augments her recipes with plenty of tips and advice, and provides instructions for performing many tasks, so your confidence builds as you try new things. I don't know anyone who has followed the course from start to end, or even used it as a course at all, so I can't comment on whether the course is any good. However, as a dip-into resource in the kitchen, it is worth its weight. It's a cook book in the traditional mould, focussing on the food and not the author; nor does it preach about lifestyle choices, saving the planet, or buying organic. Smith simply gets on with it, which is what you want when you are cooking under pressure.

There's a full index at the back, for recipes and ingredients, and the whole book is divided into ingredient-based chapters, making it easy to find what you want. It is hardbound, and with a thick glossy (wipe clean) paper dust jacket. It is built to last, which is a good thing because my copy gets plenty of use.
5 people found this helpful
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on 22 January 2015
This is the third copy I have bought of this book over the past x years - ( the others finally give up the ghost when they have too many splattered unreadable pages, from frequent use ! ) It is, quite simply the cookery book you have to have ! The one that will give you the answers, and make what you think impossible " do-able ". It won't give you fancy exotic recipes - that's what all your other cookery books are for - but rest in the knowledge it is bog standard normal & whatever you cook from this book will be well received, and turn out well !! It is one of my favourite kitchen treasures !
3 people found this helpful
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on 3 April 2018
After it was recommend to me by my sister I purchased this book and very glad I did. The book feels a little old fashioned but full of interesting information. My sister refers to it as “The Cooking Bible” and I can see why.
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on 15 August 2015
A classic. Love this book, am into my third as the others fell apart with constant use! A great starter book for anyone starting to cook as it gives the basics of every recipe you can imagine as well as more unusual ones. In fact am making the Hungarian Goulash tonight (very retro but delicious) as having friends round for a nosh up tonight - as Delia says "it doesn't mind hanging about if guests are late". The only tiny drawback is there aren't many pictures, but then if there were the book would be twice as wide! Highly recommended.
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on 10 March 2017
Wanted this book for ages and never got round to getting it. Delia is brilliant and has changed her books according to lifestyle and times
2 people found this helpful
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on 6 June 2012
Had a copy of the original version back in 1982 and this was bought as a replacement. All the same recipes but in a bigger book with more photos. Nearly bought the cheaper, later version paperback, but glad I didn't. This version of the BBC book was first published in 1989, but the reprinted issue received is 2007. The book is made in the UK and the binding, paper quality and printing are all high quality. Great book, great information, recipes that work and essential reference manual for beginners and seasoned cooks; giving great basic information for all who aspire to succeed and love to cook great tasting food.
5 people found this helpful
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on 21 September 2017
The BEST. If you haven't a clue OR you think you're great in the kitchen and you haven't a copy of this book, then you will never surprise anyone you cook for. Get it and keep it a secret, and friends will think you have been on VERY special tuition courses. Follow Delia and get it right EVERY time.
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on 25 May 2017
Many a good and plain recipe as well as some innovative ideas are in this book. If you want a foundation book to just pick up and get some ideas for those limited items in the fridge, this could be a useful reference.
One person found this helpful
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