4 Feb 2011

How I Cook by Skye Gyngell

I'm ashamed to say I've never heard of the super talented, Skye Gyngell but I was fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to review her book and for that I'm very grateful. Gyngell is an award winning chef and food writer and in her book 'How I Cook', she reveals to the masses how she cooks for her friends and family.

The book is split into different menus, demonstrating meals for all seasons and all occasions. There's even a 'Time To Spare' section for when you get a bit of time to indulge yourself. For inexperienced cooks such as myself, I found this was a great book for entertaining as much as it was as a day-to-day cookery guide. Gyngell has designed each meal suggestion with a main, any accompaniments and a desert that all compliment each other and marry together well. It's not just food that she mentions either as the introduction describes tips for table decoration and crockery recommendations and throughout the book she offers alternatives to elements of her recipes which is helpful.

The thing I found most refreshing was her attitude to food. All too many books these days are about low fat options and make the reader feel guilty and conscious. I'm relieved to say that Gyngell has the same healthy attitude to food as my family where we see food as an expression of love and enjoyment with our family and friends rather than the robotic task of eating it for function and practicality. 'Everything in moderation' is my mantra and it seems to be hers!

The dish that caught my eye immediately was the Slow Cooked Belly Pork. I have a major weakness for pork crackling and the photographs by Jason Lowe made it look just as good as it does in real life. It was the first dish I marked out with one of the three ribbon page markers provided. I loved this little touch because I always end up tearing up scraps of paper to mark out the recipes I want to try when there's no bookmark attached! Great thinking Skye :) With spring just around the corner I'm desperate to sit in the garden with a glass of Strawberry and Rhubarb cordial. Even the suggestion of this recipe makes me feel refreshed and sun kissed.

All in all, a great and very well organised book. It's a joy to read and use and I look forward to testing more of her recipes soon. My tummy is rumbling right now just thinking about it!

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