Wednesday 2 July 2008

The Kitchen Revolution

Right - it is finally here. The perfect cook book for everyone. Whether you are terrified of cooking or a cooking goddess who just have too much on to pore over hundreds of recipes The Kitchen Revolution: A Year of Time-and-money-saving Recipes by Rosie Sykes, Polly Russell and Zoe Heron is 'a foolproof way to get fabulous food on the table, save money and reduce waste'. It not only offers over 300 fantastic recipes but gives you a complete system for daily cooking with weekly menus, shopping lists, recipes for using leftovers and freezing things in advance and is based on feeding four people for £50-£60 a week.

Devised by three friends - Rosie Sykes the Guardian's Kitchen Doctor and has worked in the kitchens of some of the UK's greatest chefs she now runs the cooking at the Olde Bell Inn, Hurley. Polly Russell is taking a PhD research on food and the politics of identity, has cooked in restaurants and is currently working as a Content Specialist at the British Library. Zoe Heron is the muse for this book. An award-winning documentary producer, whose ineptitude in the kitchen inspired Rosie and Polly to create The Kitchen Revolution. She helped to develop the recipes and changed her culinary life. These three busy women have developed 'The System' a way to make every bit of cooking easier - from deciding what to cook, to actually doing the shopping, to making the most of your ingredients, fridge and freezer whilst minimising waste.

So what's The System? 'A way to plan the week's meals to allow for lazy days as well as cooking days, to cut down on the work in the kitchen and to make the most of seasonal food'. The best thing is that it's totally flexible - even though the monthly format can seem quite restrictive this in fact just helps you see what's available and in season. The meals are divided up so that every week you cook one 'big meal from scratch' the most labour intensive meal, two 'something from nothing' meals using up the leftovers in an appetising way, one 'seasonal supper' quick, simple and fresh, one 'larder feast' made primarily from store cupboard ingredients on those bare=fridge days, one 'two for one' comforting and dependable you eat half and freeze half and one 'lazy day supper' a 'defrosted two for one'. It's The System where Zoe comes into her own she is the one 'living the system' which she did for a year so that it's perfectly tweaked and adapted. She says its 'transformed her life in the kitchen'.

I could rave about the wonderful intricacies of this book for hours (their basics section sent me into a nesting frenzy) but The System just wouldn't work if you don't like the recipes. And these recipes are fabulous. Not only is there something for everyone but there are perfect balances of meals throughout the week. Having sat a dribbled my way through this entire book I've already picked out a few that I'm going to try asap. Hoisin Chicken Wraps with Noodle Salad (a Something for Nothing recipe from July's week 2), Vietnamese Beef Salad (another Something from Nothing) and Smoked Mussel Spaghetti (one of Octobers Larder Feasts). Even traditional dishes such as Roast Beef get a mouth watering twist to Roast Beef with a Pepper crust, Garlic New Potatoes and Green Bean and Red Onion Salad (July week 3's Big Meal from Scratch).

From the traditional to the exotic this is the most user friendly exciting cookbook I've seen for sometime. Everything about it is new and exciting and I challenge anyone to be disappointed. xx

The Kitchen Revolution: A Year of Time-and-money-saving Recipes is published by Ebury Press


  1. My girlfriend's started a blog about this book and her progress with it - you should check it out: My Kitchen Revolution

  2. What a fantastic idea and i LOVE it. Am going to link to it now! xx


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