For anyone who doesn't already know Skye Gyngell is the head chef at Petersham Nurseries Cafe in Richmond, Surrey and she is also a well established food writer. Her previous two books are 'A Year in my
Kitchen' which was published to great acclaim four years ago, and named 'Cookery Book of the Year' by the Guild of Food Writers, and 'My Favourite Ingredients' published in 2008.
On receiving Skye's latest book, 'How I Cook', I was immediately impressed with the look, quality and size of the book. Complements to Quadrille who published such a beautifully binded book and I love the generous inclusion of three ribbon markers which are stitched to the spine. The book is saturated with truly magnificent photographs by the award- winning food and travel photograph Jason Lowe. Many of the photographs are drenched with natural sunlight and would certainly encourage any novice chef to get busy in the kitchen!
This book is based on recipes that Skye likes to cook at home for her family and friends. I must say that coming from a Michelin star chef these recipes are surprisingly down to earth and practical - certainly achievable by the home chef. The book is divided into different occasions and suggested menu plans are given, from Sunday Lunch to Late Night Supper, there is a chapter to suit any occasion. There is also a chapter which is titled 'Time to spare' which includes many preserve recipes. I made the Seville orange marmalade and it turned out perfectly. There are many traditional recipes which are offered with plenty of advice, for example on how best to cook the dish or store the ingredients. I really enjoyed reading these tips and found myself flicking forward in the book to read these before studying the recipes! Skye's love of using fresh, in season ingredients is evident throughout her recipes and this book.
I have to admit that I love this book and am looking forward to trying out many of the recipes. With such an impressive cookbook I have a real urge to hop on a plane and head to Skye's cafe and restaurant in Surrey to sample first handed her marvelous creations! However I think for the moment I will have to settle for recreating the dishes myself.