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Made in Great Britain
By Aiden Byrne; Photos by Sue Atkinson
ISBN: 1847731600
Publisher: New Holland
Publication date: August 2009
Format: Hardcover
Number of recipes: 125
List price: $24.95
Type: Ethnic British; Chef's
Sample recipe: Veal Cutlets with Broad Beans and Girolle Mushrooms
Intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
Apparent goal: stocking stuffer sampler comprehensive encyclopedia coffee-table
Meal part: all breakfast/brunch lunch dinner dessert
Competition: outclassed a bit behind in the pack strong challenger likely champ
Variety: too little too much unusual nice mix just right
Practical recipes: <20% <40% <60% <80% ≥80%
# of ingredients: ≤4 ≤7 ≤10 ≤12 >12
Ingredient hunt: airfare required online specialty store supermarket pantry
Recipe complexity: too hard simple medium challenging professional
Instructions: inadequate verbose minimal complete educational
Time conscious: not conscious bald lies white lies realistic scout's honor
Cooking time: weekend project takes all day takes time ≥30 minutes <30 minutes
Added info: zip overwhelming scant ample generous
Photos/drawings: none drawings b&w photos occasional color mostly/all color
Art contribution: disappointing distracting decorative beautiful glorious
Recipe results: ≤dorm food casual food family meals fancy food fit for royalty
Nutritional info: none overwhelming hit or miss adequate comprehensive
Format/Ease of Use
Layout: ugh cluttered fine kind work of art
Legibility: unpleasant challenging ok clear brilliant
Production quality: cheesy delicate years of service gift quality stunning
Page numbers: hard-to-find spotty sufficient most pages every page
Table of contents: missing frustrating minimal helpful excellent
Index: none confusing adequate nice a treasure
Page flipping: upsetting tedious acceptable rare never
Writing history: beginner writer/journalist food writer writing cook personality
Cooking heritage: unknown self-taught teacher chef celebrity
Fulfills ambitions: falls short satisfactory successful exceeds home run
Flavor delivered: sad inconsistent tasty delicious exceptional
Overall tone: sterile trying too hard straightforward good friend mom
Value: ouch! a little pricey worth splurging on the money a deal
Overall rating: skip it good very good excellent Ochef Top 100

Comments: How good a cook are you? Most chefs' cookbooks pretend you can cook their recipes. Aiden Byrne believes you can cook his recipes. We – meaning no disrespect – believe he overestimates your abilities.

The ingredients, combinations, and measurements (all British) are way outside the average American cook's comfort zone. The combinations and procedures are outside most British cooks' comfort zones, as well.

Still, this is a fascinating glimpse inside the thinking and kitchen of a top British chef, and it is easy to see why he and many of his colleagues are ranked among the best chefs in the world. He is particularly keen to explain his love of and insistence on using British ingredients.

There are three-dozen excellent recipes in the back of the book for stocks, sauces, purees, pastas, gnocchis, vinaigrettes, crusts, mousses, parfaits, ice creams, and sorbets that you could happily incorporate into your repertoire. There are amazing photos of finished dishes that you are going to want to try. But think of this as a wonderful coffee-table book about sourcing British ingredients and British restaurant cooking – from which you may occasionally cook something yourself – and you'll be perfectly happy.


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