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Roast Chicken and Other Stories
ISBN 0091770343 / 9780091770341 / 0-09-177034-3
Publisher Ebury Press
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Simon Hopkinson's much-admired Roast Chicken and Other Stories now appears (unchanged) in Ebury Press's uniform paperback cookbook series, following its original publication in 1995 and a subsequent paperback career. The present edition is handsome, user-friendly and durable, with good paper and secure stitching. These things matter. The book itself is as much an incitement to cook as it ever was. The contents are a stroll through 40 of Simon Hopkinson's favourite ingredients, from anchovy and asparagus to lamb and leeks to tripe and veal, with a discursive introduction to each followed by a number of recipes. Those familiar with Hopkinson's writings will not be surprised that, despite his former reputation as a top restaurant chef (Hilaire and Bibendum in London), the recipes are robust, flavoursome and--if this is the right word-- homely. At any rate, they are all eminently cookable. Mostly they are drawn from the repertoires of British and classic French cooking, with dishes such as "Le Grand Aioli", "Brandade de Morue", "Fruit Fool", "Breast of Lamb Ste-Menehould" and "Omelette Arnold Bennett" giving perhaps an indication of Hopkinson's taste for simple, honest food. Spain and Italy, Australia and South-East Asia also put in an appearance, to vivid effect, with items such as "Gazpacho", "Risotto alla Milanese" and "Coriander and Coconut Soup". Simon Hopkinson's enthusiasm is infectious; his writing is warm and witty. Anyone who hasn't encountered this book in a previous incarnation has a treat in store. --Robin Davidson [via]