Mitchell Beazley - 2013
Photography: William Shaw & Isabel De Cordova
Based on a television programme, Food Glorious Food is designed to showcase family recipes. Strangely, the introduction is written by producer Simon Cowell who gives a family roast potato recipe but there is little in the way of setting up the recipes that are to follow.
The problem with cookbooks full of family recipes is that most people will already have their own version. I think the biggest problem is the level of repetition of recipes that have been included. There are three different versions of bread and butter pudding scattered through the book. As the majority of the recipes come from home cooks it's very easy to get hold of ingredients and most of the dishes are relatively inexpensive to make.
With such a range of contributors the recipes are quite uneven, some dishes have a lot of detailed instructions while others are much more general. On the plus side this gives a good mixture so that almost anyone will be able to find a recipe that suits their skill level and suitable for most occasions but on the other hand there are some incredibly simple recipes included that perhaps are too obvious. Many of the recipes are very heavy, lots of stews and pies, but there are almost no fish or salad recipes.
The photography is great, well lit and styled and most dishes look really appetising. The layout of the book is a little hard to work with as the food is arranged in regions rather than courses or seasons and the index is quite confusing. However, the recipes themselves are well set out and easy to follow while cooking. There is a really good range of different ingredients, especially meats and on the whole there are more meat-based recipes than anything else.
My favourite recipes were Misbah's Aloo Keema; Sonia's Tipsy Tart; the Nettle Cake; and the Wild Rabbit Lasagne.
Food Glorious Food has some genuinely exciting and innovative recipes but they are scattered between a lot of quite dull recipes that will be all too familiar. Interesting but nothing ground-breaking, this is a well-produced accompaniment to a show, it does exactly what you would expect and is a nice record of a variety of family recipe heirlooms.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of 'Food Glorious Food' from Mitchell Beazley