Book review: Michael Caines at home

22 November 2013
Book review: Michael Caines at home

Michael Caines at Home
Michael Caines
Century, £25

While many chefs at the top of the culinary tree aspire to write a coffee table bound anthology of their work, they are neither practical nor approachable.

Michael Caines At Home, from the two-Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines, who last week topped The Sunday Times Food List, differs by distilling the very essence of his food.

At 320 pages, Michael Caines At Home has something for everybody. There are the day-to-day recipes, such as guacamole and caramelised cauliflower soup, juxtaposed with more involved dishes such as crab tortellini with lemongrass and ginger sauce, langoustine cannelloni and roast partridge with braised chicory and quince purée.

This is the key to the Caines tome - it's much like the chef himself. Yes, there is the two-Michelin-starred Gidleigh Park, the epitome of refinement and luxury, but there are also the more accessible Abode properties, and it's pleasing to see that both styles of operation are boldly represented in his book.

The recipes reinforce Caines' philosophy of seasonality and keeping it local, and there are nice touches to help the reader build suitable alternatives within dishes and accompaniments. Each recipe is accompanied with a season indicator, helping cooks to make more informed choices.

Although aimed at the domestic cook, some dishes are descendants from Gidleigh Park, such as salt cod with lemon purée and chorizo foam, which would take an accomplished chef some time to pull off correctly.

High-quality images are provided by food photographer David Griffin, who counts some of the South West's finest chefs, such as Nathan Outlaw, Rick Stein and Paul Ainsworth, as previous clients. Every dish is captured in an enhancing context, whether they are restaurant-style or the more homely variety - and each makes you salivate more than the previous.

As a reference point, Michael Caines At Home will receive repeated visits for inspiration and guidance, but mainly for the ease of use in its informative style.

I recommend it.

By ChefHermes, author of the blog

If you like this, you may enjoy these:

Simon Hopkinson Cooks, Simon Hopkinson

The Gilbert Scott Book of British Food, Marcus Wareing with Chantelle Nicholson

Saturday Kitchen Cooking Bible

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking