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on 17 October 2004
I had a an amazing meal at pied a terre, Mr Osbornes restaurant and bought the book there, in a vain attempt to emulate his gifts . To my surprise and delight i found the book easy to follow and had such tremendous success my family refuse to return to our everyday fayre and i am expected to try at least one more recipe a day , youd think this was really a task but it has actually turned out to be fun and not too difficult. I am thrilled with my new found success and am indebted to Mr Osborns years of training and feel a bit of a cheat but only you and my family know my secret!
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on 8 July 2009
I brought this on a whim , never having seen the book , and knew not a lot about Shane Osborn apart from he's a chef who has an allergy that restricts his menu, but not his skill.
The photographs are stunning ,close up and clear you can see the ingrediants and see how the dishes are put together.
The recipies are broken down and easy to follow , so you can pick one item from a dish and use it for another dish. Already a favourite of mine, in the short time I've owned it Ive already cooked a lot of things from it.
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on 5 August 2010
My main reason for buying this book, apart from the fact that it was recommended to me, is that I was looking for recipes which would serves just as well for main courses as starters. I love good food and I enjoy cooking but I don't like eating large amounts. This book is perfect for me.

Shane Osborn offers some marvelous starters and in many cases gives suggestions on how to turn them into main courses with the addition of just a few ingredients.

Most of the recipes are accompanied by full or half-page photographs, which I find invaluable for visualizing what it is that I am supposed to produce.

The book is divided into a number of sections which are about the type of meal you are serving rather than the ingredients you might plan to use. These are: Introduction, Nibbles and Snacks, Quick and Easy, Simple and Satisfying, Food for Groups, Posh, and Basics. Each of these sections has a list of recipes on the section heading page. There is a good index at the end. Within each of these sections the recipes are presented in the order of vegetarian, fish, poultry and meat.

Below I have listed a small selection of the recipes in the book which appeal to me, but there are many others.
- Crisp marinated quails eggs
- Smoked eel pate with apple and lime
- Cep, artichoke and broad bean salad
- Scallops with basil oil and crisp serrano ham
- Mussels in a creamy sauce with basil
- Roasted skate with with crispy capers
- Wild mushroom and parsley broth
- Pumpkin and Parmesan risotto with green scallops
- Squid with crushed potatoes and saffron vinaigrette
- Chicken with cep and artichoke carpaccio
- Warm chicken, baby spinach and mozzarella salad
- Roasted lamb cannelloni with minted peas

As with many books produced by so-called celebrity chefs the ingredients, as you can see from the above list of some of his recipes, many are not suitable for everyday use if you're on any sort of budget. On the other hand they are great for special occasions and in many cases you can use less expensive substitutes.

Although many of the recipes sound ambitious they are all well described and are easily assembled. Each recipe shows the number of servings (usually 4 / 6), there is a list of ingredients, step by step instructions and in many cases at the bottom of the page instructions for turning it into a main meal and sometimes a hint for making a starter into a canape.

The book is nicely produced on good quality paper which, if you spill something on it, can be quickly wiped clean without damaging the page.

I enjoy having this book for my own use, but would also keep it in mind as a potential gift for a another cooking enthusiast.
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on 2 January 2015
Boring I was so so looking forward to learning great starters but no ....
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on 14 July 2011
We were looking for some inspiration for starters and there seemed very few books on it.
The idea behind turning starters into mains seems like a nice twist so we could perhaps use it for some light bites etc.
But after getting the book it seems liek the author jsut didn't have enough starters to make a book so bulked it out with some main courses.
This is one of those books that gets sent to the local charity shop the next time we have a clear out.
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