Kirstin: This is a gem of a book.
Maureen: Yes. All the foundation recipes, or at least that’s what I call them, are very good. It’s quite a clever concept– figure out how to make these good recipes and then work from there.
Kirstin: You do have to read and pay attention. There’s all sorts of tips and interesting suggestions in the book too, which I liked.
Maureen: It’s a unique idea, one that we haven’t really seen before. I really like the idea how these basic recipes can then ripple into other recipes.
Kirstin: Very good idea. It feels very French, but that’s no bad thing.
Maureen: You can feel the French influence, though there’s other things in there too.
Kirstin: To have a whole book of French cooking would be overwhelming, but this is a lovely mixture.
Maureen: I agree.
Kirstin: It’s obviously not completely French because he’s got recipes for things like lemon curd and pizza. For example, in his recipe for red curry paste he uses sun dried tomatoes and that seems odd to me. And it has anchoives, too.
Maureen: He loves an anchovy.
Kirstin: He’s obviously going for the whole unami thing. So the curry paste was interesting.
Maureen: The cheese sauce I made for my cauliflower cheese was the best cheese sauce I’ve ever had. I couldn’t stop eating it when it was on the stove.
Kirstin: It worked. Clever man. But we both have a beef about the design.
Maureen: Indeed we do. I just think it would have been so much better if it had a plain classy cover with a white background, a classic font and a different picture. As it is, with all the doodles throughout and the primary-coloured pages, it just makes it seem like a kids cookbook, which it definitely is not. It just goes to show you that design is important.
Kirstin: Still a gem of a book, though.
“The Magic Fridge”
Overall Grade (A- F): B (Kirstin) B+ (It would get an A but for the design) (Maureen)
Best recipes: Kirstin: Roast and braise chicken went down very well indeed. Maureen: Cauliflower cheese. It was the best I ever had.
Grade for Photography (A-F): C. Pretty uninspiring.
Any disasters? Kirstin: No. Maureen: No.
Bookshelf or Charity Shop Donation? Kirstin: Bookshelf. Maureen: Bookshelf, for the cheese sauce recipe alone. Would You Give This Book to a Friend?: No. If I was going to give a book, I’d give them a different book because it has to look nice as well. There’s so many pretty cookbooks out there.