By Marcus Verberne
Absolute Press, $28.99, 320 pages
For the American home cooks, Roast is a waste of money. Even if you have a metric kitchen scale, you’ll need a food encyclopedia to find many of the culinary terms (both professional and British) to understand the ingredients called for. Everything is in metric, even oven temperature settings (Celsius and gas mark) and, lacking a metric scale, you would need to convert all measurements. Unedited by a good food editor, this cookbook was written by Chef Marcus Verberne who didn’t understand how to write at the kitchen level of the average home cook.
“I have tried to make the recipes as appropriate and accessible to the home cook as possible.”
Many of the recipes are complex with long list of ingredients several of which you may have trouble finding anywhere. Even the Brits for whom this was written would scramble to find them and no substitutes are given. Recipes such as Gamekeeper’s Terrine has a list of difficult to find ingredients (partridge breasts, pheasant breasts, mallard breasts, rabbit and venison) mostly a professional food supplier could satisfy. Other recipes like Sprout Top Hearts with Roasted Chestnut and Wild Boar Pancetta are just as impossible. The chef simply reproduced professional recipes of the restaurant Roast. Even if you are a Brit, pass by this cookbook.
Reviewed by George Erdosh