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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
28
4.2 out of 5 stars


on 18 June 2011
I think there's truth in all the reviews. This isn't an open-and-go cookbook, but it is very lovely, and if you enjoy a wet afternoon pottering in the kitchen, it can find a place, even in a single, working person's cooking. I bought it beguiled by the styling and the sound of the recipes. When I realised that to get started on many of the recipes you had to concoct the "tool-box" elements first (slow-cooked red onions, slow-cooked tomatoes, braised lentils, various oils, the divergently maligned and praised spice mix), the book went on the shelf for a while. But a couple of weekends ago, I had that afternoon pottering. Nothing was particularly difficult, and for a fortnight afterwards, I've been having delicious remains, and various new recipes pulled from the book that have been very swift to prepare with the toolbox elements already in the fridge - brilliant morale-boost on getting home late. I haven't died from eating 10-day-old red onions or basil oil, but obviously different people are variously sensitive (over-anxious?) when it comes to smell-it-and-see food testing. The index isn't very helpful with regard to using the tool-box, so I've been through and annotated mine, which makes it much more practical - you do want to have all the ways of using this stuff listed. The recipes: most are delightful, some, as others have said, not completely original, but they're all very fresh and very evocative of the seasons. NB, not everything relies on the toolbox. Gyngell's tone can be hectoring: "last night's roast chicken simply will not do", lends to the, "Go away, I'm a working woman, so have some understanding that last night's roast chicken is *exactly* what I'll be using", response. However, I can overlook that for the beauty of the book, and I'm enjoying being inspired by it for a month, despite having limited time for cooking. If cooking is a hobby, you like the thrift of combining elements in different ways over consecutive days and are uplifted by seasonal food, this book is pretty good. If not, not!
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on 27 January 2008
I've had this book for about 6 months now and have used it endlessly. Recipes that surprise and delight and that I keep coming back to. Fresh, delicious and I love the organisation of it. Perfect for cooking seasonally for needing inspiration when facing a large pile of leeks or chard.
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on 7 October 2011
This is a fantastic cook book from an inspirational chef. There are some great standard recipes for basics plus some really original ones to try new stuff. I've eaten at the Petersham Nurseries where Skye Gingel puts her expertise into practice and the food if fantastic so I hope that I'll be able to emulate her!
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on 7 April 2011
I sometimes feel like I must be taking crazy pills where Skye Gyngell is concerned. There's nothing wrong with this book, it's fine; just as her restaurant is fine (if outrageously overpriced), but the adulation baffles me.

The constant references to 'her' food become wearing, when many of the recipes are simple French and Italian classics, and many more are the type of simple ingredient assemblies that one could find in any Jamie Oliver book.

Her recipe for 'Panade of slow-cooked onions with Gruyere' differs from French onion soup only in so far as the bread is on the bottom instead of the top; no real problem there, except she accompanies the recipe with the following note:

'To appreciate the nature of any dish - its subtleties and complexities - you really need to have cooked it several times. It is only then that will you (sic) understand its very heart'.

Possibly the most pompous statement you'll ever find in a modern recipe book, and by no means a one off in this self-regarding and (to me at least)uninspiring book.
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on 26 May 2014
The content is good, there are some really lovely recipes, but the book itself unravelled as I opened it. The whole book came away from the spine the first time I opened the front cover and now half the pages have fallen out. Its pretty poor quality.
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on 4 May 2014
The spine left the rest of the book on first opening, otherwise there are no obvious problems. The risk you take with a second hand book I suppose.
It was delivered the next day and I will still enjoy using it after a dollop of superglue.
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on 23 May 2014
Encapsulates all that is great about modern cuisine. An valuable addition to my cookery library. And I have weeded out the really dated ones in favour of books like this. Exceptional
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on 21 January 2014
Liked the lay out, the recipes were interesting and it is a beautiful original and worthwhile book for you cookery bookshelf.
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on 11 June 2016
Thrilled with my purchase , excellent condition, incredible price ,prompt delivery, lucky me !
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on 7 May 2007
This book (I could tell) was written as a real labor of love! The foods are exceptional and the recipes are easy to follow. You owe it to yourself to add this book to your must own lists of kitchen helpers to have on hand!
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