Andy Lynes

Andy Lynes

Freelance journalist and author

https://cookbookreview.blog
Andy Lynes writes for the national, international and trade press about food, drink and travel with a particular interest in the global restaurant scene. His work has appeared in the Times, Telegraph, Independent and Metro and numerous magazines including The Caterer and Sainsbury's magazine. He is the author of three books: Kingdom of Cooks: Conversations with Britain's New Wave Chefs; How to be a Chillihead and Hot Dog!: The Wonderful World of the Wiener.

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Andy's favorite cookbooks

Available on ckbk now
Cooking at the Merchant House

Cooking at the Merchant House

Shaun Hill

Although this is a nominally the cookbook of the now closed and much missed Merchant House restaurant in Ludlow, this is an excellent all round introduction to the craft of cooking. Hill is a superlative chef with a profound understanding of food and flavour and you'll find great recipes for sauces, bread and desserts as well as fabulous main courses like roast pork loin with braised trotter. This is eminently usable for the home cook with recipes for things like baked beans and southern fried chicken. Hill's personality comes through loud and clear in the entertaining narrative passages and in the recipes which could only have been written by him. Where else would you find a recipe for lobster with chickpea, coriander and olive oil sauce or the Hungarian trifle-style dessert of somloi. A timeless classic any serious cook should own.

The Clatter of Forks and Spoons

The Clatter of Forks and Spoons

Richard Corrigan

This 400 page book over-delivers in the most delightful way. Along with the distinctive modern British recipes, there are numerous articles, essays and extended introductions along with the evocative landscapes, still lives and portraits by photographer Kristin Peters. Corrigan underlines his ingredient-led approach by profiling some of his favourite producers or “extreme artisans” as he calls them such as cheesemaker Bill Hogan of Schull in West Cork. A love of cheaper cuts such as pig’s trotter and ham hocks and relatively inexpensive fish including mackerel, hake and gurnard means you won’t have to break the bank to cook from the book (although there’s plenty of luxury produce like wild salmon, lobster, grouse and foie gras too). An eclectic range of dressings and sauces including Italian salsa verde, Catalonian romesco and North African harissa, and dishes ranging from Mediterranean influenced stuffed baby squid with chorizo and feta style cheese to Thai crab and mussel soup reflect the globetrotting style prevalent during the 1990’s London restaurant scene where Corrigan first made his name. The Clatter of Forks and Spoons also tells Corrigan’s own story, from growing up on a farm in County Meath to opening his Mayfair restaurant.

Available on ckbk now
Keep it Simple

Keep it Simple

Richard Whittington and Alastair Little

The modern British cookery bible. Over 20 years old but looks like it could have been written yesterday. The photography and design still look great and the recipes have stood the test of time. It was such an eye opener for me when I first read it. I'd never heard of pizza bianca, pizza without tomatoes before, or hasselback potatoes?! The recipes are organised seasonally and reflect Little's interest in Italian, Japanese, Chinese and French cookery. There are too many favourites to list but they include daube of beef and pannetonne bread and butter pudding. The store cupboard and batterie du cuisine recommendations are extremely useful and the whole thing is done with an entertaining dry wit.

Coming to ckbk soon
A Feast of Fish 2

A Feast of Fish 2

Ian McAndrew

McAndrew is a hugely knowledgeable and technically brilliant cook and this book is full of delicious, inventive seafood dishes. Arranged by variety of fish and shellfish, there's a useful and informative introduction to each chapter followed by about half a dozen recipes. Some are challenging but most are very achievable. The book contains the best recipe for salsa verde I've ever found and a great one for 'Sauce Jacqueline', a classic fish stock, wine and butter sauce flavoured with red peppers and paprika to be served with poached fish.

British Baking

British Baking

Oliver Peyton

My go to volume whenever I want to cook classic British cakes and biscuits. I love the design of the book and the recipes are very reliable. The sweet bun dough makes perfect iced buns.

A Cook's Guide to Grains

A Cook's Guide to Grains

A comprehensive guide to grain foods that's incredibly well researched and written. It's just such a useful book, as a reference book for when you come across an obscure ingredient like amaranth and want to know more about it and as a source for unusual and delicious recipes like Japanese soba porridge.

The Pressure Cooker Cook Book

The Pressure Cooker Cook Book

Catherine Phipps

If you've got any reservations about using a pressure cooker, after reading this book you might not cook with anything else ever again. It not only covers the sort of things you'd expect to use a pressure cooker for like stocks and stews, but also a whole load of surprising dishes like parmesan custards.

Indulge: 100 Perfect Desserts

Indulge: 100 Perfect Desserts

Claire Clark

Claire Clark is one of the world's leading pastry chefs, and while some of the dessert recipes included in the book are complex, there are plenty of more achievable things like scones, chocolate fudge brownies and sticky toffee pudding (all definitive versions) that mean that you won't just admire the beautiful photographs.

La Tante Claire

La Tante Claire

Pierre Koffmann

This is not just a cookbook, but a 'gastronomic autobiography' that charts the rise of Koffmann the chef from catering college apprentice in France to three Michelin star success in London. It's beautifully written and the recipes illustrate the story creating a complete and rounded picture of the man and his food.

Duck & Waffle

Duck & Waffle

Daniel Doherty

Once you've cooked from this book, you'll keep going back to it, it's just so packed full of delicious things to eat. Favourites include the signature duck and waffle dish itself (the cure recipe alone is excellent) smoky mutton sloppy joe and whipped brandade with tomato jam. The short recipe basics section contains really useful things like brine, pickling liquid and confit shallots.