Celebrity chef cookbooks

Time Out reviews the best celebrity recipe books to give you culinary inspiration

My Favourite Ingredients

Skye Gyngell, Quadrille, £25

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This is the second cookery book by Skye Gyngell, chef of Petersham Nurseries café and cookery writer for The Independent. And it’s every bit as beautiful and inspiring as her first, ‘A Year in My Kitchen’ (2006).

Gyngell has a real talent for putting together ingredients and here she focuses on her favourites – ostensibly 16 of them, but some, such as ‘fish and shellfish’, ‘pulses and grains’ and ‘cheese’ are very broad, so the recipes aren’t as limited as you might at first think. Other (more specific) ingredients include cherries, chocolate, asparagus among others, with the text preceding chapters on honey and olive oil being particularly well written.

The range of recipes is admirably broad and palate-grabbingly enticing (we found the autumnal ones particularly so). Some ingredients, such as agretti (a kind of edible marsh grass) and Malenca (a cured meat from Lombardy) aren’t easy to find during the average supermarket grab, but then this book is probably more suited to the experienced cook who is after inspiration, advice on ingredients and brilliant recipe ideas, rather than the cook looking for quick and easy after-work suppers. Another plus is Jason Lowe’s beautiful photography, which shows real artistry. This is one that we’ll be keeping at close hand in the kitchen, particularly as autumn approaches.

Susan Low, Time Out London Issue 1987: September 28-24 2009

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