This is one of my favourite cook books. This is because (in my opinion) Laura’s tastes in food comes across in her writing style, a quirky take on the traditional, with an underlying yet simple elegance. I rather enjoy flipping through the pages at random, but invariably I succumb to her enthusiastic descriptions, and end up examining my pantry for ingredients and rolling up my cooking sleeves. The recipes themselves are great, and well worth trying out. The ones I have tried are reasonably straightforward, and all have been delicious.
A warning, though, there are no photos in this book, and the instructions are sometimes too over-simplified. Personally I like a little more guidance and reassurance (such as Nigella provides), especially when trying something for the first time, or if it’s something I haven’t seen Laura make on her program, and have no idea how it’s supposed to turn out. That said, don’t let these things stop you, as they haven’t stopped me.
For those familiar with Laura Calder, most of the recipes in this book have appeared on her TV program French Food at Home. Not to be confused with her first book of the same title, which I erroneously purchased (but don’t really regret). If you have seen her program, the recipes can be found on the Cooking Channel website. But if you want the accompanying book, I would urge you to buy French Taste. By the way, I had a lot of trouble sourcing this book in New Zealand, and in the end purchased it from Amazon Canada. Although a little pricey when the shipping costs were added, it arrived in less than a week, and I have been happily baking away ever since.