The author of The Cook’s Book of Everything, Lulu Grimes, has worked in both London and Sydney as a food editor for books and magazines. She regularly appears on the radio (including Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour) and has written for The Sydney Morning Herald. She is studying for a Masters in Gastronomy at Adelaide University, teaches a course on Food Writing at City University and is on the Guild of Food Writers’ committee.
You will know that I don’t often mention the price of a book till the last paragraph. I guess I come from a generation where talking of politics, religion or money was considered rude and ill-mannered. I am going to be completely brazen and say from the outset that I consider The Cook’s Book of Everything to be one of the best-value books I have reviewed in many a month. This is at an amazing price of only £30.00. It’s a mammoth volume of 687 pages, but a book does not succeed by weight alone.
Big it might be but The Cook’s Book of Everything manages to have a light, airy and modern style that I find most appealing. There are photographs aplenty to add splashes of colour but the lines of this book are clean and uncluttered. The recipes are easy to follow and cover every cooking method and every skill level.
The Cook’s Book of Everything is the book you would save if the house burns down. It might even be your only cookbook. It lists plenty of dishes for the novice cook but also lots for the more experienced to get their teeth into. This is a book that will give support to the culinary scaredy cat on his first steps to becoming a kitchen wiz.
The recipes are a marvellous collection of traditional and contemporary dishes drawn from both Western and Asian heritage and covering every class of food from soup to dessert and including herbs, sauces, baking and preserving. The Poultry chapter, for example, has a full eleven recipes for roasts of everything from the common choock to the swanky quail with lots of other feathered fare as well.
The Cook’s Book of Everything reflects modern eating habits and ingredients but remains mindful of the fact that the old familiar family dishes still have a place at the table. This is truly a one-stop cookbook that would be an ideal gift for newlyweds or those setting up their first home; and for anyone who just wants a great cookbook, definitely consider this one. It’s a winner.
Cookbook Review: The Cook’s Book of Everything
Author: Lulu Grimes
Published by Murdoch Books
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018