Food needs salt. The quantity is a matter of personal taste but some presence is essential and little is more disappointing from the eating perspective than a plate of food that looks fabulous and tastes of very little. It shows the cook's priorities are all wrong, that too much television cookery has been watched and not enough tasting and enjoyment indulged in.' So says Shaun Hill, who in this engaging exploration of his 50 years as a chef, brings his wealth of experience to the table, sharing what he has learnt so that the home cook can create truly remarkable dishes. Never one to shy away from controversy, he covers everything from why local and seasonal are not necessarily indicators of quality, to why soy beans are best left for cattle feed and Budapest is paradise for the greedy. The recipes range from Warm Rock Oysters with Spring Onion Butter Sauce to Pork in Shirtsleeves and Buttermilk Pudding with Cardamom. And although his commentary is undeniably witty, it's Shaun's knowledge and expert guidance that makes this book an invaluable tome for anyone who takes their food (but not themselves) seriously. 'This is a book you need to own; a lifetime's hard work in the kitchen distilled into sensible brevity. Shaun is a friend and a great cook.' Rick Stein
Shaun Hill started cooking professionally at Robert Carrier's iconic restaurant in Islington in 1966. He was head chef at Gidleigh Park in Chagford for 9 years, and chef patron at the legendary Merchant House restaurant in Ludlow for 10 years. In 2007 he reopened the critically acclaimed Walnut Tree in Abergavenny and, in his time there has won a Michelin star and three AA rosettes, as well as a number of other awards.