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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 3 April 2014
Maybe a little too prompt having just purchased this earlier today - but it makes really great reading, and I've been reading solidly since I downloaded it - couldn't put it down, and just know hours and hours of pleasure ahead.

I love the approach which trials and tests lots of different recipes from different sources, for the same thing. A bit like speed dating - sifting through the rubbish to get to the good bits!

I'm a fan of the original 'Perfect' and the Guardian column - and whilst this doesn't have all the detail of the column [but easy enough to check these out] it takes on board some of the criticism made of 'Perfect' by going into a bit more detail - and this does make for a much better read.

The commentary is honest, human and well written - and I particularly like the way that reasons are given for why bits are added or omitted from the recipes. As I read, I found myself testing out the comments and suggestions against my own mental bank of recipes, and own trial and error experiences. At times I thought - yes - that's what I've been doing wrong, in others such as the crab linguine - the addition of the brown meat to the sauce is what makes my Tobagan crab and dumpling recipe so great, but I hadn't thought to replicate the approach in other dishes, and, other times I thought - no - sacrilege! But that's the real beauty of the book - and the skill of the author in challenging you to find your own version perfect recipe and tests the versions you think are already practically perfect - avoiding being in any way condescending or patronising.

I can't wait to try out some of the recipes, and probably most important of all, her recipes always work!

Review updated: I did the Blueberry muffins this morning for brunch - and the half frozen berry idea was inspired and made a real difference. The hummus added to a great Mezze style meal I cooked tonight for friends - I'd started them soaking yesterday instead of resorting to the tins as I usually do. I'm looking forward to the simple Beef Wellington tomorrow - inspired to try it when I saw some really great fillet in the butcher's today and relieved from doing the pancakes and other faffy bits in most recipes as I particularly like a bit of of juice laden soggy pastry on the bottom - so long as the meat cooked just right and the pastry on top crisp. The aubergine parmigiana , lemon drizzle cake and chicken liver pâté amongst others already tried and tested favourites from her Guardian column.

Truly great. Thank you.
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on 4 June 2014
Once you decide on a dish you want to cook, this book gives you the recipes of several famous chefs and enables you to pick the various items that work best. If I had all the books by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Heston Blumenthal, etc., I still wouldn't have the time to plough through them all for the perfect recipe.
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on 8 May 2014
Book bought as a present and rating given based on recipients comments. He used the book immediately and I got to eat some of the result, which was excellent. I am told the recipes are easy to follow.
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on 22 February 2015
A good friend bought this as a birthday gift for me, not knowing that I rely on Felicity's chicken liver pate recipe every Christmas. This book is a dream, her writing style is lovely and the recipes are spot on. The aubergine parmigiana is a big hit in the house and has become a staple. The writing style is clear, easy to follow and it actually makes it much easier that there are no pictures. It's a shame that Felicity is not as well known as some other, less talented chefs **cough Jamie Oliver** **cough Nigella Lawson**
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on 13 May 2014
Felicity Cloake has found a niche market. This is a gorgeous and vital supplement to her companion book "Perfect". Taking simple and useful dishes, she has researched the literature, tested thoroughly and come up with practical ideas for making the best. Her commentaries are a delight, too.

As Mary Berry says of her own recipes "Follow the recipe the first time and then alter it to suit yourself".

But, you may not need to change anything. Even if you do not ultimately follow her recipes exactly you will find so much good sense here that you will become for your family and friends a better, or even perfect, cook
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on 13 July 2014
I'd not come across Felicity Cloak, we can no longer afford to take the Guardfian. ButI really enjoy her approach, and the light hearted way she writes. Also great to see some attempt to assess the relative merits of other published cooks. Made me want to instantly get cooking. Her scones were lovely.
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on 2 September 2015
Entertaining bedside reading as well as a source of definitive recipes for such notoriously tricky dishes as chocolate fondant and creme brulee. I could throw away all my many cookery books and keep these. Except that I won't, because I love cookery books.....
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on 16 May 2014
I love her strategy and her scientific analysis of everyone else's techniques then hey presto ! You are a cook ! For the lovers of julie Julia ...cook your way through these.
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on 2 September 2014
A brilliant book. I have made a number of dishes from this book and found it easy to use and giving brilliant results. She has a great style of writing which makes the book enjoyable to read as well as being very informative. The concept behind the book is brilliant and I find it such a helpful resource. I have found this book to be the perfect addition to my kitchen! I will have to start following her column in the Guardian now!
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on 13 June 2014
Baked & cooked several from perfect too book. These turned out ok , there is an improvement from other chef's recipes of the same . I will be buying other books from felicity cloaks. I think this book deserves five stars.
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