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.