Book Review: A New British Chef is in Town, Introducing Lorraine Pascal

| 16 October , 2012 | Reply

For the ordinary Aussie, the name Lorraine Pascale doesn’t mean much. Yet.

Former model, turned celebrity chef, Lorraine Pascale has brought the fun back into cooking. After training in renowned kitchens all over the world, she took her own, fresh approach to cooking by launching a new TV series.

Fresh, fun and sociable, her first TV series Baking Made Easy and it’s corresponding book took the UK by storm. (The series is set to air on Channel 10 soon). Now, with another under her belt, she is set to continue her climb with the release of her third cookbook, designed for busy people on the go and they have all just been made available in Australia this year and we’re giving you a round up of each of them.

Baking Made Easy

Baking Made Easy was the first cookbook Lorraine released, and it’s easy to see why it rocketed to the bestseller’s list in the UK. More than a simple cakes and slices book, there are recipes for every occasion. From elegant tea parties, to lazy brunches, she includes twists on the classics and well as fresh and new recipes. We loved that the book also included delicious savoury recipes like  Butternut Squash with quinoa, and Glam Mac and Cheese. The book has a refreshingly simple format that makes it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Available now: Harper Collins RRP$32.99

Home Cooking Made Easy

After long workdays, coming home and cooking seems like the last thing you want to do. So often we turn to costly and unhealthy takeaway menus. This book alleviates the issue, aiming to provide stress-free, simple cooking that covers every day meals, all the way to the inevitably hectic Christmas dinner. The recipes include comforting British classics, quick and simple pasta dishes and even some great vegetarian recipes.  No home-cooked meal would be complete without desserts, and the book includes an amazing array of classic desserts you would recognise from childhood meals. While the recipes aren’t all original, there are definitely some fun takes on old classics that are still worth a look at. The book itself is beautiful and the beginning of each chapter includes a beautifully shot image as well as an inspirational quote about cooking, which adds a lovely, homey touch to the book.

We made the Rioja-Braised Lamb Shanks on page 120 – we didn’t have roija, but used more of the balsamic vinegar which added a really lovely new flavour to a traditional dish that we could eat everyday!  Lorraine’s easy to understand instructions made it an easy dish to prepare and pop in the oven in a flash. Perfect for Sunday nights with the family.

We also made the Thai Green Chicken Curry on page 79, and to be honest it’s hard to go wrong with coconut curry dishes. Lorraine adds peas and aubergine to the mix which was different (I didn’t add the aubergine, not a fan), but we liked the peas.  Once again, easy instructions to follow.

Available now: Harper Collins RRP$32.99

Fast, Fresh and Easy Food

Lorraine’s latest book is by far our favourite of the three. It is the ultimate book for busy families, with easy to throw together, wholesome meals that everyone will enjoy. The book includes naughty treats like the adorable Watermelon Jelly Shots as well as delightful, fresh recipes like tin foil Thai Trout. There are meals that are kid-friendly as well as appetizers and mains that are perfect for friends who drop by. The beautifully shot photos are mouthwatering, and you can’t help but catch Lorraine’s contagious enthusiasm for cooking.

Available now: Harper Collins RRP$32.99

My first love for cooking came when I was living in the UK many many years ago, they know how to do good home cooking really well (it’s expensive to eat out there) and these books stick to well worn path of good yummy and easy home cooking, I’ll be keeping an eye out for her TV Series!

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