Top critical review
One person found this helpful
on 3 September 2017
I've only tried one of the recipes so far, but doing it has made me look at the others more carefully and think hard about what is going on here. For home cooks without much talent, like me, paring it down to three simple ingredients is a good idea on paper, and it ought to work - Heston Blumenthal will tell you all about the science of combining flavonoids - but in Hugh you don't get white chocolate and caviar, you get things like potato, swede and egg, and really the only reason most of Hugh's things "go together so well" is simply because they are so bland and innocuous, and if you put in a microgram too little salt, they will taste of absolutely nothing. I experienced this with the "courgettes, mozarella and pasta" - of course you have to smother it with parmesan for it to taste of anything, or, as Hugh suggests, you can add bacon, but I think the more talented home chefs would have known that anyway and they wouldn't have bothered with this book. Obviously a few of its recipes look good - I'll try the orange, strawberry and cucumber salad some time, but it's quite a fat book, and it's really a waste of space. Jamie Oliver seems to have latched onto this idea now and turned it into 5 simple things, which may be more promising, although you know that with all the subsidiary ingredients, you're back in the land of full-blown recipes again. But I like Jamie.
This review is probably over-harsh, being written in the hot flush of initial disappointment. If you have unlimited bookshelf space, you can buy a cheap copy - you may find a dozen good recipes in it; but if you are reading this, you are internetted and so you have 10 million recipes at your disposal!