Bought this book some time ago now, and I have to confess that though I thought it was a really attractive book, I was disappointed at first that the first half or so of it was taken up with advice about ingredients - I felt short changed on the recipes. However, i was completely wrong - if I did a cost-benefit analysis of pounds spent on the book vs meals actually prepared and enjoyed, this book beats any recipe book I have ever bought.
The recipes are (for me) not just delicious to eat, but a very good balance of being just a bit unusual, but not too difficult to make or the ingredients too hard to find. Many of the dishes have quickly become staples of our everyday dinners, and they are not only delicious but also healthy, and you can't ask for more than that!
This book is good if you are starting out cooking. Recipes are no nonsense and results (so far)scrummy. In this case, it was a gift for someone who is already quite a good cook so whilst the recipes are very good and the book will be well used, the first half, which is more about ingredients and the Leon philosophy is of less use and is likely to be referred to less frequently. Having said that, we've just bought the second Leon recipe book, which is almost wholly recipes.
I love this book! I think this has to be one of my favourite cookbooks. I bought it as a Christmas present for my sister as we love going to the Leon restaurants, and couldn't believe it when she also bought it for me! The first half of the book is a comprehensive glossary of food and ingredients, what's good for you, in season and where things come from. It has lovely features including pull outs and "cupboard" doors which open out. The second half is full of lovely recipes and none of them have disappointed so far. It is beautifully illustrated, witty and educational, and a must for any modern or rustic kitchen. I would give this 6 stars if I could!
Leon: Ingredients and Recipes This is an amazing cook book. I had heard of it but was reluctant to spend money on a book when I had never sampled any of their food. On a recent trip to London I got my opportunity and was completely hooked. In the space of a week I had eaten there at least 5 times. I got home and immediately ordered the cookbook hoping that all my favourites would be in it...I wasn't dissapointed. Now I can happily cook all the meals that I loved eating and many more as well. This book gives great practical recipies that are healthy and nutrititous but don't sacrifice on taste. A book that you will actually use and love rather than one that sits on the shelf and is only used for dinner parties.
A fab book about food. some of the ingredients are a wee bit fussy but one overcomes that after reading the chatty content about how the recipes came about and clear instructions to get tasty nutritious food. A joy to own.
I love the Leon cook books. They have lots of ideas for new recipes and you can adapt them easily yourself. There's also other things to read in them, like information about what vegetables are in season etc.
To me, this book is a work of art and such an enjoyable and useful resource. There is so much personality, creativity, and inspiration, and it is so nice to see that level of work and dedication and caring.
I too love all the fun extras (like the extra-thick cardstock page you can pull out with seasonal fruit & veg info).
I enjoy the pics of the recipes (somehow that can motivate me to try something) and the little blurbs above each recipe. And I appreciate the qualifications of each recipe, such as vegetarian, gluten free, and good carbs/sugars.
I bought two (for now) as this is a fab present for me, and a gorgeous gift for the foodies in my life.
I had an opportunity to travel to London early 2009. One of the cafe's I happened upon while in London was Cafe Leon. I was amazed that my meal could be so satisfying and so inexpensive (for London prices that is)!
I enjoyed my experience so much, I ordered their book. It is a really good book. It overviews all of the spices, cuts of meats, vegetables, types of dairy and cheeses and how they work for flavor. The receipe section is a little smaller than I would like, but I have made several meals with the book so far and they have won great reviews!
I look forward to using this book far into the future!
This is a beautiful book, the recipes are gorgeous and have worked well so far. If you've never been to Leon, you should try their moroccan meatballs -it's really for that recipe alone that I bought the whole book but I'm so glad I did. The book is a great to dip into, visually very stimulating, lots of family histories/anecdotes with photos - faded childhood holiday snaps from the seventies are scattered throughout, making it seem nostalgic, personal,colourful and eclectic. You find out about each person or story behind the recipes, so it's a story book as well as an inspirational cookery book. But the recipes are what make the book stand out - they're easy to accomplish, really tasty while seemingly virtuous. Leon was founded by John Vincent, Allegra McEvedy and Henry Dimbleby. I only found out about that later, through reading the book; a few of the recipes come from Dittisham (where Josceline Dimbleby lives) - a nice surprise, as my family lived there for many years. Lush book, fabulously tasty food and a complete delight.