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Marcus Wareing is a Michelin starred London based chef. He is widely known on UK TV for judging “Masterchef: The Professionals”. I’ve been a fan of Wareing since watching him judge “Great British Menu”. Masterchef: The Pros is one of my absolute favourite TV programmes. Last year, I was lucky enough to dine at Marcus at the Berkeley. It was one of the best dining experiences. I hope to go back one day.

I was gifted a copy of this book and another of book by Wareing. Of the two books, this one is looked more informal which is why I read it first.

I started this as a bed time book last December and there many weeks (if not months) where I did not read it at all. I made a concerted effort to finish the last third which compromised of Entertaining (irrelevant for me) and Baking (more relevant but smaller section).

Prose and Writing: A little intro before each chapter. Accessible and nice. I can hear his voice.
Technique and Teaching: There is not a lot of technique when compared with other cookbooks but there are lots of ideas and tips here.
Photography and Layout: I like these hefty, photo heavy cookbooks especially when they have their own book mark. However, it does not open flat. Why are so many cookbooks not designed to open flat?
Usefulness Factor: 3/5 – I found there were some good tips and ideas for dinner and food.
Inspiration Factor: 3/5 – The book is nicely laid out and it definitely does inspire me, but not as much as some other books I have tried.
Recipes Tested:

Peanut Flapjacks

Peanut Flapjacks – I am a big fan of flapjacks and the my current go-to recipes are by Mary Berry and Smitten Kitchen. This was easy to do since it was a standard flapjack recipe. The peanuts did give it a nice salty kick and the caramelized syrup butter made the nuts even more delicious. However, the flapjack ended up crumbly and the recipe was too sweet. Perhaps it was the use of dark brown sugar instead of muscovado. The recipe includes instructions on how to roast the peanuts which we really liked and inspires me to roast my own peanuts. I will add roasted peanuts to my next flapjacks.

Sunday Roasted Potatoes – We already make roast potatoes similar to Marcus’s recipe. The main difference was we couldn’t use the potato varieties he named and we incorporated the cold refrigeration method before roasting. I actually told my partner about this trick a couple years ago, but this recipe was the one that finally convinced him to try it. We did find the potatoes did look more brown than usual.

Miso Baked Cod with Sesame Dressing and Pak Choi – I used mahi mahi and brown miso instead of white. I have used miso with fish before and it is good. I like using tahini again as I haven’t tried it in years. This recipe gave me a good idea to use miso and tahini together in dressings more.

Overall Assessment

I enjoyed this book and am glad to own it, but there are definitely aspects of it that don’t work for my cooking style presently. I do like that it gave me some nice little ideas here and there. It’s also just a good looking book around. I look forward to seeing how the other one Wareing book fares.

It’s been awhile since I did cookbook review and I am hoping to do more of these soon. In fact, when preparing for this review, I found the drafts of other cookbook reviews. I believe I can finish a couple of them off in the next month so expect more to come.

Read December 31, 2018-August 24, 2019

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