Archive For November 2011

Hashi – A Japanese cookery course

Hashi – A Japanese cookery course

I have reviewed many a cookbook and a good number of these have been Japanese, but it’s the first time I have looked up from my half-finished draft to see the author of the object of my labours gracing my TV screen. Reiko Hashimoto is on New British Kitchen and demonstrating sushi. I know that…

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Indonesian Cooking

Indonesian Cooking

Satays, Sambals and more It’s a surprise to me that Indonesian cuisine is not more popular, especially in Europe’s cosmopolitan cities. It has so much to recommend it. The spices are familiar and there is nothing shocking or intimidating. If you love Thai food you will enjoy Indonesian food. If Indian dishes are what you…

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Serene Gardens

Serene Gardens

What vision do we have when we think of Japan? Well, in truth there will likely be a few images. If we are into anime there will be cartoon characters. The food lovers will doubtless conjure a plate of sushi, and many others will say that a graceful geisha will be on their list. Show…

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200 Soups

200 Soups

Well, it’s the season for it. Heathrow has been fog-bound and we have moved the garden pot-plants nearer the house. The central heating is now on full-time and the hot-water bottles have been brought out of mothballs. It’s nearly winter. That came around quick! We are musing on hearty meals and hot comfort foods; saving…

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The Art of French Baking review

The Art of French Baking review

Ginette Mathiot was one of the most celebrated French food writers and she was so respected that she was awarded Officier de la Légion d’Honneur by the French government. She was into her 90s when she died after a long and celebrated career. She wrote over 30 books including the famous Je Sais Cuisiner –…

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The Constance Spry Cookery Book

The Constance Spry Cookery Book

Grub Street has carved out a great reputation as a cookbook publisher. There are a few of them out there but I am always excited when a Grub Street book arrives – it’s gonna be a classic. People term anything that they like “a classic” but Grub Street publish “the” classics and The Constance Spry…

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The Heart of the Home

The Heart of the Home

The author of  The Heart of the Home, Julie Goodwin, was Australia’s first MasterChef winner. Now I guess that will probably mean more to you than me as I don’t watch that programme – not even the UK version. Yes, I do appreciate the talent of the competing wannabe chefs, but it’s the presenters I…

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Tuscany

Tuscany

Tuscany is a region in the north-west of Italy. It has an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.75 million well-fed Tuscans. The regional capital, and the main tourist draw, is Florence with its numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi, and it is also a major city…

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Modern Thai Food review

Modern Thai Food review

Modern Thai Food is a large-format volume with some of the most stunning food photography I have ever seen. Jeremy Simons takes advantage of full pages to present the most exquisite close-ups. A simple Ginger Martini is beautiful in its organic whiteness, and the Egg Net Rolls with Pork and Shrimp bursts with colour and…

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The Golden Book of Desserts

The Golden Book of Desserts

As a kid I didnt have The Golden Book of Desserts but I would sit next to the radiogram (yes, there were such things and yes, I am that old), listen to Two-Way Family Favourites and leaf through my Mum’s big old cookbook. It had thousands of pictures but all of them in black and…

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The Family Meal

The Family Meal

Sounds like another cookbook describing methods of encouraging your kids to eat sprouts. Well, no, not this time. The Family Meal has its focus on a different style of family. Not Mum, Dad, 2.4 kids, a dog called Barry, and Grandma on Sunday. The author, Ferran Adria (where have I heard that name before?) considers…

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My Japanese Table

My Japanese Table

The author of My Japanese Table is Debra Samuels. Doesn’t sound very Japanese, does it? Well, perhaps not, but her credentials are impeccable as this lady has spent a decade or so living in Japan and learning to cook in home kitchens. She is ideally placed to pen a book for the European market as she…

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Furoshiki – The art of wrapping with fabric

Furoshiki – The art of wrapping with fabric

Furoshiki is an ancient practice that seems to be very trendy now in Europe. I first came across it when a friend arrived from Marseille. She is a lady of impeccable taste and owns a shop filled with stylish and interesting goods. I had high hopes of a classy gift and I wasn’t quite sure…

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The Golden Book of Cooking

The Golden Book of Cooking

Cookbooks seem to fall into one of two categories. There are those that are stunningly beautiful, and those that are full of recipes that you will want to make on a regular basis. It’s rare that one will find a cookbook that straddles both genres, but The Golden Book of Cooking does that with style….

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Little Old Lady Recipes

Little Old Lady Recipes

Comfort food and kitchen table wisdom Into every cookbook reviewer’s life comes a publisher who says “I saw this and thought of you.” And so it was that I was the recipient of Little Old Lady Recipes. It’s a charming book written by the aforementioned sassy gals, and is evidently considered a book to be…

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Rustic Italian

Rustic Italian

Simple, authentic recipes for everyday cooking This is a chunky well-proportioned volume which does indeed focus on rustic Italian food, although good Italian food is mostly rustic anyway. All those classic dishes we crave are the kinds of things that have been commonplace in regular homes along the length of the boot of Italy for…

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Vigo – Michelin Stars and Seafood

Vigo – Michelin Stars and Seafood

You will appreciate from these articles that I consider Vigo in Galicia something of an undiscovered culinary gem. The fresh produce and seafood are outstanding but you will likely be staying in a hotel where cooking facilities are strictly for the professionals, so you will want to find the best and the most interesting of…

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Easy Chinese Recipes

Easy Chinese Recipes

To any home cook that title might sound attractive – Easy Chinese Recipes – but to a reviewer who is a passionate cook that very same title can cause worries. Is this going to be a book with its focus on convenience foods? Could it be sub-titled “Make Friends with your Microwave”? The reality is…

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Vigo – crab, clams and continuity

Vigo – crab, clams and continuity

For those of you living in the south of England, you will already know about Vigo. You will swear that it is a parish formed in 2000, and a modern rural village built in the mid-20th century. The village lies on top of the North Downs and its name comes from the pub on the…

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Galicia – deliciously diverse

Galicia – deliciously diverse

We all have prejudices. We don’t think that we do but that is in itself the nature of a prejudice. I was anxious that this region might be another version of a Costa-something, and I was not quite sure what a visit to northern Spain might hold in store. I have spent some time in…

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