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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 18 January 2014
We are lovers of Leon and the first book really stood out from the crowd. This book is great in parts but not in others. It has quite a few basic recipes like a fry-up which isn't really what we were looking for. Still, it does have some lovely recipes in other areas especially for the children.
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on 30 January 2011
The subject of 'fast' food of late (ie. Nigella Express, Jamie's 30 Minute Meals) seems to be the zeitgeist of the moment and although I sometimes like to make an effort and cook a complex dish, more often than not I just want simple, delicious recipes I can knock up for the evening meal. I was not familiar with the Leon brand before purchasing the book but saw it in the book shop and was drawn in by the lovely cover and had a quick flick through and then ordered it as on a whim, as both the art design and the promise of 'healthy fast food' drew me in.

It is indeed beautifully produced with whimsy and nostalgia and the art design is absolutely genius. A beautifully produced book clearly written with love. However, as a cook book I am afraid I am exceptionally disappointed. The recipes are either oddly simple (Porridge with fruit?!) or obscure or random and dishes that just don't seem to be what a family would want out of a 'fast food' dinner (barbaqued squid?). So far, there are only a small handful of recipes I would ever make with a lot being 'Well, duh' and the others just not appealing. I was hoping for a slice of the clearly successful restaurant in a book and I don't think that's been achieved, instead, it's more a collection of trendy dishes provided by various trendy people (ie. Giles Coren). That's fine, but not what I bought the book for. It's also a very busy book (with one page even purposefully being printed upside down) that I found incredibly hard to follow and not well thought out when you're looking backwards and forwards between stirs.

If you love the look of a cook book and/or want a coffee table book, then this fits the bill, but if you want a book that will be well thumbed and provide a staple for your cooking I really doubt this is it. It's a classic case of style over substance and dare I say it, feels slightly smug and patronising.
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on 11 October 2010
I have a made a couple of things from this book that are lovely but if you have the first book you would recognise a lot of the content, particularly from the first section.
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on 25 March 2013
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.
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on 21 February 2011
I have literally hundreds of cookbooks, have taken many courses and even cooked commercially for a time. But I can safely say that I've never made so many things out of a single book since 'How to Eat' was published. Everything has been delicious and I can recommend the 'Turkey Bolognese' as a way of cutting down the amount of red meat we eat without compromising on taste or flavour. Two favourites spring to mind: 'Burmese Cabbage' which I often make when it's just me and I want to stuff myself without too many calories and the 'Moroccan Chricken with Olives and Lemon'. This is not only superb (my Mum's second favourite dish !) but has gone down in family lore as the dish that, when served to my husband, his verdict was "that was great but you should really try to make the chicken with olives and lemon dish we had in Morocco"! Luckily this was good enough that I've made it many times again despite the helpful comments.
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on 4 September 2010
Living in the north, I don't very get to visit Leon very often, so I was really excited at the thought of a new cookbook to expand my range of homecooked Leon dishes. After a rare visit to London last weekend I was hoping for the recipe for green sunshine salad - and yes its in there. The book is split in to two main parts, "fast food" and "slow fast food", the latter section being recipes are still simple to prepare but may take longer to cook, but that cooking time means you can sit down and relax. On flicking it looks like there are more recipes in the second book, I just don't know where to start:- "Coconut Chicken & petit pois curry", "Persian Onion Soup", "Leeks Viniagrette", "carrots & Beetroots with Toasted Almonds" ..... there's even a recipe so you can make your own salami ! Was hoping that the recipe for the leon pecan pie was in there, but I guess I'll have to wait for the third book. Can't wait to get into the kitchen.
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on 10 September 2010
I too was excited at the prospect of a second Leon book: I think many will be. So I raced to pre-order and was initially a little over-whelmed by the zany lay-out. They've taken it to the extreme here and not a colour, novelty slogan or typeface has been spared us. I felt the actual recipes were a little lost amongst all this. However, I cracked on with getting cooking (the turnip and prune pork belly pot roast) was not disappointed. Best pork belly recipe I think I've ever tried: wonderful aromatic flavours with melt-in-your mouth meat. Perfect for an early autumn evening...mmmm
What I love about the Leon brand is literally every recipe I try turns out great: I think they are masters of delicious, (relatively) healthy, modern, of-the-moment cooking. I still don't think we need quite as many little novelties, though....or a section on how to jazz-up shop-bought ice-cream :)
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on 4 January 2012
I love this book, the recipes look yummy, diverse and dooable. Plus this book is beautiful to peruse, what shall I make today? I love that there's substitutions, so I dont have the leeks for Pasta with peas but they suggest mushrooms or peppers instead. I don't feel obliged to head to the shops in case I don't do this recipe justice and omit the leeks.

What I always want to hear when reading a review is what type of recipes are included. Well here is a round up of some of the delictable recipes to tickle your tastebuds:
> Three ways with our fav carbs suh as rice: failsafe rice, crispy saffron rice cake and pilaff,
> Hattie's sweet onion frittata,
> Glasgow Banana Bread (yum!!) and Muesli bars,

The book is split up into sections to fit your busy lifestyle, what do I have time to do today :) and many require very little effort.

I now have to persuade the boyfriend to take me to the Leon restaurants in London :)
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on 3 December 2015
I like this book. I bought it as a gift and spent some time browsing for something with enough recipes and contemporary ideas to make a purchase worthwhile. We all have cookery books taking up room on our shelves whilst we go straight to the Internet for ideas! There are a lot of attractively photographed, heathy recipes. I road tested the chicken with preserved lemons and green olives and it was very well received by my teenage sons. I may buy it for myself!
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on 5 June 2013
If you are expecting a word by word, easy recipe book, then Leon is not for you.
If however, you are a relatively confident cook and are looking more for inspiration in terms of mixing flavours, serving things up, refreshing and reigniting your kitchen, then Leon does the trick. It's more about cooking and getting messy, than about perfectly placed garnish and napkins.

That said, it *IS* quite the coffee table book, but for people who truly love food. Sit down, flick through the pages, and get inspired to cook something completely new. As a vegetarian I don't normally buy non-vegetarian cook books (as so much of it is irrelevant to me), but I liked Leon so much when I flicked through it, that I made an exception - and am very happy I did!

Leon is very graphics and picture driven, and yes - very "hipster". But it's a very nice cook book with PLENTY of fresh ideas, so if you can live with the hipster side of things, BUY IT!
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