I bought this book when it was so reduced I couldn't resist it. A great admirer of Slater, I had looked at it and thought it over-priced, wordy, self-indulgent, poorly presented, and of little practical value. Indeed, a week after buying it I had decided to throw it out! I don't know what changed my mind, but I'm very glad I did. This is a goldmine of wonderful hints towards great food. There are little stories of what's in season, pointers to menus, food for friends, and hundreds of flexible ideas on producing meals around a main ingredient. As to the type of food, it's typical Slater and typically British - covering every cuisine under the sun with style, panache, and no pretentions. The book would have won 5 stars, but it is over-conscious of the message, far too long, and the "realistic" photos are a mistake. Once you grasp the knack of looking for the bold text in the margin, however, it is transformed into a very valuable addition to the kitchen arsenal. I like it more every time I use it. If you want cooking prescriptions with lots of useless pictures, stick to the glossies from TV "chefs". Otherwise, consider Slater's book an essential purchase - at any price.
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