The Leon cookbooks have actually changed my life. It sounds stupid, but it's true. I'm 24, and I always said 'I can't cook. I can bake a tart or a cake or some muffins, but I can't cook savoury things.' Now, thanks to Leon's cookbooks I actually think I'm a pretty good cook, thanks very much! These books have given me so much confidence; to cook for my boyfriend, my friends and most importantly, for myself, because I struggle with my mood and I've learnt that it's really important for me to be able to eat well. There are terrific recipes for vegetarians and vegans, which is a huge relief for anyone who knows any - and also, let's face it, a great step towards getting us all to trim back on unhealthy levels of meat consumption and to eat heartily on a budget. Unrepentant carnivores are similarly well catered for.
I have only one criticism of these books and that is that the good people at Leon need to work on their priorities in terms of the information being presented. There is a lot of general info about food and nutrition in general at the beginning of this book, but although I love my Leon books and I cook from these books almost every week, I haven't read any of it yet. It could lead to some readers losing patience and feeling that they haven't gotten their money's worth in terms of recipes.
To anyone who does feel this way: Please don't! These cookbooks are beautifully designed and wonderfully quirky, so just enjoy having them on your shelf and dive in with the cooking at whatever page takes your fancy. If you give these books some time and selective attention, you will see that there are more than enough simple, unpretentious, fail proof, tasty and nutritious recipes to keep you occupied.
It can feel like you have to rummage around for the recipes a bit, but it's worth it I promise. Things aren't always as they appear: this evening I made the Butterbean and Chorizo tapa on page 163 - the way it is presented makes it look like a flimsy side dish, but actually, it is a hearty casserole main - unfortunately, you have to read the description to see that it can function as such. (And does very well).
So in summary, Leon have managed to present their wonderfully accessible, simple recipes in a not-always-accessible way. A couple of people will give in to a sense of infuriation at this and find that these books are not for them. But the majority (as shown here, in these reviews) will see that in a boring world of celebrity chefs and books full of recipes that don't even work (recipes, indeed, for things you would never want to eat!), Leon is a breath of fresh air. The sense of having to 'dig out' the recipes is quite exciting, in a way, as it feels like there is always more to discover.
Just looking at this cookbook will may you hungry. And if you are a fan of great design then you are in for an extra treat. This is a thick book, the pages are matt and of quality texture and feel. Retro in it design with pull of pages, charts and stickers ! This is a book of great quality.
The first half of the book is jam packed with information about food - when food is in season, what herbs to choose, cheese to eat, meat to buy, spices to use, cupboard ingredients, how to eat healthy ... There is something for everyone (of all cooking abilities) to learn and get your appetite going before you start with the recipes.
Split into logical sections and well presented (full descriptions and color photographs)there is food here for everyone and every taste. If you are a fan of the LEON restaurants in London you'll notice some of your favorite menu items.
I've found the recipes easy to follow with ingredients easy to find. This is one thing i look out for as i don't want to be going to the shop every 2 mins to buy obscure ingredients ill never use again.
The only problem with this book is choosing what to cook next ! 10 out of 10 ! Already purchased Book no 2.
Leon: Ingredients and Recipes Brilliant book, not just receipes but lots of useful information about food too. An entirely different format from your usual cookbook. If you ever been to a Leon restaurant in London and adored the food, then this is the book for you. I bought this for my husband's 40th birthday and he has never stopped making delicious things since!
This book has everything I like in a cookery book. The encyclopedia of ingredients in the first half is extremely useful with the different cuts of meat and how to use them to fruits and veg and the vitamins they contain and their benefits to your health. The second half has the recipes - from breakfasts ( a fab granola recipe) through to puddings such as as Allegra's no fail victoria sponge. All the recipes I have tried such as the beef stew and the goulash have worked and been extremely flavourful without being laden down with fat, though there are a few recipes that have cream - but not many. I had never heard about Allegra before this book but now have her previous ones on my list. I hope that the author brings out more books in the future.
One of the most original cookbooks I've bought in a long time! Leon: Ingredients and Recipes is an absolute delight, both in terms of its recipes, which are healthy and utterly seductive, but also (and perhaps more so), it's design concept, which imaginatively reinterprets that of the Leon eateries. With its interactive pull-out elements, retro motifs, and quirky styling, it is, quite simply, the best fun you can have with a cookbook, without it actually being edible.
Heartily recommend for fans, and for those, like me, for whom the book was the inspiration for a first visit.
This book is brilliant and a must have. For years I have enjoyed eating at Leon and now we have a book which features all the favourites. This book is not only a recipe book but is full of really useful information about the ingredients used and seasonal food - I love the stickers and charts! I have come back online to order copy for my daughter as she's off to university and armed with this book I now she will eat well!