How I Cook
By Skye Gyngell
Quadrille Publishing, £25
With Skye Gyngell having just been awarded a Michelin star for the first time in the 2011 edition of the restaurant guide, there will be many people - both professional chefs and home cooks - who will be interested in taking a peek at her third cookery book, How I Cook.
This is not, though, aimed at people who cook for a living, as Gyngell states from the outset. It is, she says, a book which focuses on the food she likes to cook for friends and family who gather around a table at home.
However, it does reflect Gyngell's core value of cooking the kind of unpretentious, seasonal food, which she has been serving customers since 2004 as head chef of the Petersham Nurseries Café in Richmond, Surrey. During the past seven years she has been pivotal in gaining an enviable foodie reputation for what is probably one of the quirkiest settings for a Michelin gong.
The 100 recipes, enticingly photographed by Jason Lowe, are arranged around meals served throughout the day and week including breakfast, Sunday lunch, afternoon tea, simple weekday dinner, and late-night supper.
There are also ideas for celebratory menus to serve at Christmas, Easter and birthdays, as well as a fabulous chapter on preserves, which chefs can turn to when faced with a glut of produce. Recipes for vin de pêche, strawberry and rhubarb cordial, and cherry jam with rose-scented geranium could all spark an enthusiastic conversation among customers.
Most of the dishes may be simple to execute, but they still will inspire a cook who wants to produce food that will satisfy a family guest or a paying customer. Particularly appealing is a recipe for crying lamb, which Gyngell first came across in her native Australia, cooked by a Greek friend. The dish involves roasting a leg of lamb on a rack over a bed of potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, fresh herbs and dried chilli.
Other highlights include Gyngell's version of bouillabaisse without potatoes or wine, rabbit with endive and pancetta, and crème caramel with Pedro Ximénez.
If you like this, you'll love these:
A Year in my Kitchen Skye Gyngell
â- My Favourite Ingredients Skye Gyngell
â- Real Food Nigel Slater