I received this cookbook for Christmas nearly 10 years ago, before Marcus was a well known TV chef. As a result I pretty much credit Marcus Wareing single handedly for my becoming a half competent, semi-decent cook.
Simple classics, described and taught well, with explanations on why it works and how. So many cookbooks gloss over some of these basics which are really the foundations of making a great dish, so I'm so glad this was my introduction to cooking. Without fail, these recipies have turned out fantastic, but more important is how transferable these skills are to pretty much any dish.
The book appears to do exactly what it says on the tin. Easy to follow recipes, with handy non-complicated tips, that result in some of the most delicious recipes you will ever create. The chocolate fondant is nothing short of perfection, and the tomato & basil, and french onion soups result in dishes you would happily pay a premium for in a restaurant. Well worth the investment!
I don't normally do this kind of thing with reviews but I felt compelled to after owning this book for around 6 months. I am a keen cook and have a real love for food, wanting to develop the fundamental skills of good cooking and being a fan of Marcus' work made me buy this book and I am so glad i did.
His two Michelin star credentials shine through in the recipes which I would call conventional but delicious, the method not too complicated and the results amazing! By far and away the best bit about this book are Marcus' 'Key's To Perfection' that accompany all recipes, outside the main body of text (often on the opposite page with pictures) he gives you little tips and advice on how to reach 'perfection'.
He also doesn't assume that it will all go well first time round, the 'All Is Not Lost' sections of the recipes give's you a chance to rescue the meal or simply take it to another level.
I have over 20 cook books including Ramsay, Pierre White, Aitkins, Torode, Worrall Thompson, Slater and Atherton but this is the one i turn to time and time again - a truly perfect cook book to have in the kitchen, I cant review it well enough, if Amazon had six stars this would certainly get it!
This is very good cook book, to the "serious foodie reviewer" (always worries me when people call themselves that) the egg poaching is not a production line, as in the technique shown you do one at a time , so just stop when you have done enough! The hints and tips throughout are excellent and give that extra info from a great chef, which you do not normally get in a cookbook, which helps extend your skills.
I love this book and will keep it forever. Sure it is not gonna turn you into Marcus and that is not its intention. It gives great advice and great recipes for the home cook who is looking to improve. Here is a personal example. I am an average to good cook and fish has always stumped me (pan frying it that is). With his attention to detail and ease of explanation I am now a competent fish cook and no longer avoid cooking it - thank you marcus! I want to try 90% of the recipes in the book (and have nearly reached that goal) and that is a sign of a great cookbook - I have rather a lot of them that are far too clean this one is gonna get very dirty!!