How I Cook, Hardback Book
2 out of 5 (1 rating)


Skye Gyngell's skill in combining ingredients in a way that heightens their freshness and flavour is second to none.

Her cooking at Petersham Nurseries has won many awards and her previous two books have been highly acclaimed.

Now, Skye turns her attention to home cooking. In How I Cook she focuses on the food she cooks for friends and family, with an original collection of over 100 recipes based around meal occasions - breakfast, Sunday lunch, alfresco eating, afternoon tea, simple weekday dinner, late night supper and celebrations - such as Christmas and Easter.

Skye's home cooking is influenced by the seasons but it is also the sense of occasion that inspires her creativity.

The layers of flavour that typify Skye's dishes are evident throughout, but recipes are more straightforward and based on ingredients that are easy for the home cook to obtain.

All techniques are carefully explained and illustrated, and Skye reveals the secrets of her success, based on her years of experience in the kitchen.

In addition, Skye provides menu suggestions throughout the book to create beautifully balanced meals. The final chapter 'Time to spare' presents a lovely selection of original preserves and other food that can be prepared ahead to enjoy later.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 256 pages, 150 colour photographs
  • Publisher: Quadrille Publishing Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: General cookery & recipes
  • ISBN: 9781844008506

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Skye Gyngell's How to cook is a mix of traditional favourites such as rice pudding (there are simpler and better) and bread and butter pudding (unnecessarily fussy), and the more extravagant such as freshly cooked lobster. However while this contains some interesting recipes along with some practical if sometimes rather obvious advice, I have a few quibbles with the book.The book is are arranged according to occasion: Breakfast, Sunday Lunch . . . Afternoon Tea . . . Special Occasion . . . which apart from being rather prescriptive means that the recipes are all over the place; if you are looking for a main course it requires scouring the entire book, they are not grouped together, the same goes for deserts, cakes etc.Some of the recipes I find rather fiddly, a lot of (unnecessary?) work, having been cooking for more years than I care to recall I don't believe all the extra work entailed is worth it, there are easier ways to produce a tasty dish. I also find some of the recipes wasteful; at least one requires that you discard the vegetables before serving, and the recipe for cucumber sandwiches not only wastes half the cucumber but instructs cutting the crusts of the bread - surely we are past such wasteful practices (and do we need to be told how to make a cucumber sandwich?).This is not going to be a cookbook that I will be referring to often, there are too many irritations, a shame for simplified and arranged more logically it might prove a reasonable useful cookbook, if one ignores the extravagance.

Also by Skye Gyngell