Top critical review
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A poor book from an excellent chef.
on 26 January 2007
This has the feeling of a heavily ghost-written book (although admittedly there is no collaborator mentioned in the acknowledgement), scattered with banal interpolations. See the page at the start of the seafood section going through fish. Has he got anything more insightful to say than that john dory tastes "sweet"? Clearly not as he repeats the same insight for turbot just down the page. See also the comment on prawns, crabs, lobster - his prawns come from madagascar - so what?
Having dined several times at TA in London the recipes are far less inspiring than the cuisine we know Tom is capable of. There are limited references to Tom's delightfully haphazard plating and approach to food. There is nary a mention of his signature cassonades. The recipes themselves simply do not inspire and are sometimes inconsistent - for example, how do you sear the skin-side of a darne of seabass??? (the skin goes all the way round a darne - there is no skin side!!!).
It's one redeeming feature is a good outline of the process for preparing Joel Robuchon's pomme puree.
If you want an example of a contemporary chefbook I can recommend David Everitt-Matthias "Essence"