When it comes to cooking, there’s a big leap between being able and turning pro and a lot of it is not only based on the type of food you make, but the techniques and methods applied well before the cooking of the actual dish. If you’ve always dreamt of creating those masterful looking meals you see on the cooking channel or the fine dining restaurants around the country, then this is probably the one book that will get you there.
Lessons with Liam is based on the incredibly talented and well known Liam Tomlin’s very popular course at his Chefs Warehouse and Cookery School in Cape Town and it is not only jam-packed with information but also inspirational to the core. It’s written in a tone that will make you understand even the most complicated processes without a blink. Lessons with Liam is not only a book full of incredible recipes, but it is also a great reference book that you can pick up again and again.
In the book, Liam takes you through the very basics of cooking and shows you exactly how to debone a chicken, to make the perfect stock and to dissect an entire fish. And thanks to brilliant photographer Russell Smith’s photos, you can see exactly how each step of the process works. The multitude of photos that accompany each recipe or technique show step-by-step representations of what you should be doing and how the ingredients in question should look in the in-between stages, not just the final presentation. You’ll never feel left in the dark.
Lessons with Liam is a big book that you can open at a page and it stays open when you put it on the counter. Each recipe fits into one big page full of text, removing the hassle of having to turn pages with doughy fingers. The text is big enough to be legible and the clean layout makes the entire experience enjoyable.
So whether Liam and Russel are teaching you how to make the perfect mayonnaise, how to pick out your fillets at the butchery or taking you through seven different ways of cooking fish, you’re moving one step closer to turning pro every time. You don’t even have to master all the impressive techniques before tackling recipes like Coq au Vin, Tuna Nicoise, Duck rillettes and doughnuts with hot chocolate sauce, but you’ll definitely feel like a master cook when you prepare your own stock, different varieties of hollandaise sauce and vinaigrettes and perfect pastas from scratch.
The best part of Lessons with Liam is that it’s a book beautiful enough to exhibit on the coffee table yet useful enough to take back to the kitchen over and over again. Definitely one of South Africa’s best cookbooks.
See more of Russell’s incredible photography in the February issue of Getaway Magazine (on sale on 21 January 2013) when he visited Mauritius with Sarah Duff and documented its incredible food culture.
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