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I received Mary Berry's "Complete Cookbook" as a present from my mother before I even dreamed of becoming a chef. Looking back, it was one of the best presents that I have received in my 18 years.
The book is broken down into 13 different chapters, each being for a different type of cookery.
They are: - 1. Hot & Chilled Soups, 2. First Courses, 3. Eggs & Cheese, 4. Fish & Shellfish, 5. Poultry & Game, 6. Meat Dishes, 7. Vegetarian Dishes, 8. Pasta & Rice, 9. Vegetables & Salads, 10. Yeast Cookery, 11. Pies, Tarts, & Hot Desserts, 12. Chilled Desserts, 13. Cakes & Teabreads.
Before the main chapters begin, there is a chapter full of 'Useful Information' covering the following topics: - Equipment, Freezing, Microwaving, The Well-Provisioned Kitchen, Flavouring Food and Safe & Healthy Cooking.
At the front of the book, there is a small section entitled 'Special Menu Section'. This contains 34 special menus, and where to find each recipe in the book.
At the front of each chapter, there is a pictured list of all the recipies in that section, divided into time periods of: - 'Under 30 Minutes', '30-60 Minutes' and 'Over 60 Minutes'. also included is a brief description and the page number. there is also an area where you get directions on how to prepare certain things, such as 'Boning a Whole Chicken', with step-by-step instructions that have a picture for each step.
With certain recipies, such as those with a seperate sauce or in need of specialist preparation, there is a small accompanying section for that sauce/specialist preparation.
At the back of the book, there is an index, and behind the index are some pages for the reader to make note on the recipies or write down specific good recipes and where to find them in the book.
The pictures that accompany the recipies in the book are colour pictures of the finished product.
Every concievable type of meat and poultry is included, meats such as Veal, Venison, Poussin, Duck and Rabbit.
As a student chef, I have found that this book contains recipies that my main college textbook doesn't. This has proven very helpful.
If a follow up book was released, I would most definately part with my own money, rather than sponge of parents, for it.
It is most certainly a Leymans book in Leymans terms.