Archive For August 2009

Planet Hollywood

Planet Hollywood

‘OK, so review London’s Planet Hollywood.’ ‘Yes, but I’m a serious restaurant reviewer.’ ‘Go on, you might like it.’ …That’s the conversation I had with myself and I am glad to say I was right. I did like it. I am not normally a lover of fast food and I wasn’t sure that I’d be…

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Sicily – Culinary Crossroads

Sicily – Culinary Crossroads

This is one of a series of books on Italy’s food culture by Oronzo Editions. They are a publisher that specialises in translations of Italian cookbooks and they certainly seem to have filled a gap in the market with this volume. This is the second in the series and takes a look at a cuisine…

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Britain’s Best Dish

Britain’s Best Dish

This book takes its name from the ITV series. It showcases those recipes that have been successful in three series from 2007 to 2009. The competitions were judged by three of the British food industry’s most celebrated worthies in the guise of Ed Baines (chef and author), John Burton Race (chef and “star” of French…

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Paul Gayler’s Little Book of Salads

Paul Gayler’s Little Book of Salads

In the Summer we eat lighter and fresher. Gone are the hearty casseroles and rib-sticking pasta bakes, to be replaced by salads. Yeah, but it’s boring, I hear you cry. But it doesn’t have to be. There is no excuse for bland, limp and lifeless salad. Think vibrant! Think zesty! Think of what Paul Gayler…

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Duchy Originals Cookbook

Duchy Originals Cookbook

If ever there was a cookbook review I wanted to get right it’s this one. Johnny Acton and Nick Sandler are two very witty and talented cookbook authors. Although elevated to something approaching stardom on this site (perhaps that’s a bit much but their Preserved book was very nice), those two chaps bow to the…

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The Press Club

The Press Club

Sounds like a haunt for elderly, heavy-smoking, heavy-drinking journalists. The Press Club is, in fact, a highly-acclaimed restaurant in Melbourne, Australia and it’s all about modern Greek cookery. The author, George Calombaris, is the head chef at the Press Club and the talent behind this marvellous array of contemporary dishes. The prospect of modern this…

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Seriously Good Gluten-Free Cooking

Seriously Good Gluten-Free Cooking

I am sure the title will encourage many a cookbook-shelf scanner to move right on by this book. Gluten-Free! That’s got something to do with being ill, hasn’t it? I’ve never felt better. Not interested. Well, OK, all that having been said, let’s actually have a look. You might have heard the word coeliac. Sounds…

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Cooking with Kids

Cooking with Kids

Don’t get alarmed, dear reader, Cooking with Kids isn’t suggesting that you have children as the main or even incidental ingredient. No, this is about encouraging your youngsters into the kitchen and teaching them skills that will serve them well through life. Many of us rue the day when cookery lessons were abolished. Pupils were…

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The Eagle Cookbook

The Eagle Cookbook

If you are not from London then perhaps you might not know about the Eagle Cookbook. No, dear reader, it’s not a right-wing American recipe book subtitled Tasty Meals from Our National Emblem. This is the book of the first Gastropub. That’s a pub that serves (or is supposed to) great food along with your…

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The Ultimate Garden Designer

The Ultimate Garden Designer

The “ultimate” anything has got to be good. What would this Garden Designer variety have to offer? It needed to be a comprehensive tome covering every aspect of the subject. Needless to say I had visions of a book the size of a small garden shed or at least a rabbit hutch. This is a…

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Backroads of Arizona

Backroads of Arizona

I have reviewed another book by author Jim Hinckley and photographer Kerrick James (about Route 66), so I knew what to expect. A high-quality picture travelogue with images of the past and the present. Images that charm and mystify and eloquently tell the story of the state of Arizona. The state might be the epitome…

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Paul Gayler’s Little Book of Pasta and Noodles

Paul Gayler’s Little Book of Pasta and Noodles

If you are a regular visitor then you will already be familiar with Paul Gayler’s cookbooks. For those others who are visiting for the first time I’ll introduce you. Paul is the chef of The Lanesborough, one of the smartest spots in London. He has written a collection of cookbooks which act as showcase for…

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Gorgeous Greens

Gorgeous Greens

Well, it sounds like an oxymoron (ok, look it up). Gorgeous Greens. It’s an expression used by my parents and many others as a term for all vegetables, just like the word greengrocer refers to a shop that sells every kind of vegetable and not just those of a greener hue. This isn’t a vegetarian…

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The Historic Shops and Restaurants of New York

The Historic Shops and Restaurants of New York

I have spent long months in New York City and was very happy to do so. It’s one of my favourite spots, although I had not ever considered it to be overly historic. I am a Londoner and so tend to take history a bit for granted. I also have American friends who think that…

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Preserved

Preserved

I love bottling, jam-making, marmalade-making and the like and I have quite a few books on the subject but Preserved is a little different. It considers all preserved foods and doesn’t have a focus just on making tasty sweet things, although there are still plenty of those to be found within these covers. Nick Sandler…

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Cool Waters

Cool Waters

Sounds like the name of a town from an old Western. In truth Cool Waters is a book offering 50 thirst-quenching and non-alcoholic drinks made from fresh or dried ingredients. The water used might even come from your own tap (faucet) so be assured that this won’t be an expensive hobby. We know we should…

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Kitchen Knife Skills

Kitchen Knife Skills

I guess if you are reading this review you already have an interest in cooking. Perhaps you might be periodically called on to carve or dice something. Even if your culinary horizons only stretch as far as the delicate art of sandwich-making you could find slicing a handy skill. Surely no reader of mine would…

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Jewish Traditions Cookbook

Jewish Traditions Cookbook

Some folks might not like Chinese food; others don’t like the rich spicy flavour of Indian meals; there are those who say that Northern European food is bland; but it’s impossible to say that one doesn’t like Jewish food. “What’s not to like?” my Jewish friends might demand. There is no seasoning that is Jewish…

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Cardamom and Lime

Cardamom and Lime

I honestly had no idea what to expect. Cardamom and Lime – Recipes from the Arabian Gulf was going to be a revelation and it turned out to be a stunning and fascinating one. I feel sure that the majority of us have no notion of Arabian food. But when one takes the time to…

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