Top critical review
9 people found this helpful
Not for a beginner (and frustrating for an experienced cook)
on 19 August 2012
This is a very useful book for an experienced cook interested in paella, but it is frustrating.
* It is superb on technique with lots of useful tips and hints. If you have problems with the rice being too hard, or burning, or not sure about how to get the basics right, then following the instructions in this book will solve all those problems for you. My paellas are much much better and more consistent as a result.
* Some very good recipes. I've cooked the paella valenciana recipe many times, and it is a winner.
* With a few exceptions, the author doesn't explain where a recipe comes from. I'm interested in traditional recipes and regional variations, and he doesn't explain which are the traditional ones as opposed to something the author made up. And he has made up a lot of 'modern' ones, eg Indian-style paella, new york style paella, paella with foie gras, paella with truffles, paella with champagne... and so on. Knowing which of the 80 or so recipes are traditional and authentic would help a lot.
* A lot of the recipes are very complicated. There are too many elaborate recipes for fish paella (eg langoustines and morel mushrooms or red mullet and white truffle). I was looking for a simple fish and vegetables paella recipe, and there isn't one - instead I needed to combine elements of several different recipes. This is why I say it is not for a beginner cook.