Thursday, 27 January 2011

Book Review: How I Cook by Skye Gyngell

I was recently sent a copy of "How I Cook" by Skye Gyngell to review.  This is the first book by Skye Gyngell that I have ever laid hands on and I'll be honest and say I didn't really know a lot about her.  Turns out she is an award-winning chef and food writer and I've been living under a rock.  Skye is head chef at Petersham Nurseries Cafe in Richmond Surrey and a food writer who has contributed to the Independent on Sunday, Vogue and Delicious so it's fair to say, she knows her food.

The book has several chapters under headings like "Breakfast", "Simple Weekday Dinners" and "Afternoon Tea" and is extremely aesthetically pleasing. It's a pleasure to look through and read, and the photography within the book is excellent.

In all honesty, I found the book a little bit "aspirational" for want of a better word, I mean, it's clearly not a book for those short on time or money. For instance "strawberry, fig and greengage compote" sounds like a marvellous thing to have for breakfast but in reality greengages are not that easy to come by.  I've certainly never seen them in my local supermarket and there's definitely not an abundance of them growing in my garden.  As a busy (part-time) working mother I don't really have the time nor the inclination to stand soaking oats and making my own muesli, so whilst it's pleasant to idle the time away looking at the pretty pictures and imagining that it would be a nice thing to do the chances of me ever doing it are slim to none.

This is not me saying this isn't a good book though, on the contrary.  Skye focuses on good, fresh, seasonal food and combines ingredients in interesting ways.  The recipes are on the whole quite simple and straightforward and don't require tons of ingredients.  I'd feel confident about attempting the recipes as they are uncomplicated and there are definitely a few things that I will be trying like the lemon self-saucing pudding, the orange and current scones and the salad of jersey royals with herbs and creme fraiche.  There is also a delectable sounding summer aperitif "Vin de Peche" which I will be making for sure - it's made of cognac, red wine and peach leaves (so obviously you need access to a peach tree).

In summary, I feel it's not every day food as it might suggest and certainly doesn't fit in with my ethos of family meals but there are some gems in there.  I'll certainly be cooking from it in the future when I am looking for something to impress or I've got more time to muddle around in the kitchen.  If you're an adventurous cook or class yourself as a proper foodie who likes to experiment with fresh produce and cook with the seasons then I think you'll like this book a lot.  

"How I Cook" is published by Quadrille and the RRP of this book is £25.00.

love & kisses
Mrs M x

1 comment:

  1. I'm on a perpetual hunt for greengage jam. Tiptree used to do one but I've not seen it in years. Lord knows how I'd ever manage to find fresh ones!


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