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Oh Cook!: 60 Recipes That Any Idiot Can Make Hardcover – 4 November 2020

4.8 out of 5 stars 4,403 ratings

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About the Author

James was one-third of one of the most successful television programmes of all time - BBC's 'Top Gear' and he now co-hosts 'The Grand Tour' on Amazon. He has presented many solo projects on television - 'Toy Stories', BBC2's six-part series with annual updates, 'James May's Man Lab' which ran for three series, 'James May's Cars of the People' and, most recently, 'Our Man in Japan' on Amazon Prime. Other projects have taken him to the edge of space, forced him to share a caravan with Oz Clarke and seen him attempt to fly with a jetpack on his back. 'Oh Cook!' is James's first foray into cooking.


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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Pavilion GB (4 November 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 144 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1911663151
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1911663157
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 19.81 x 1.68 x 24.21 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 4,403 ratings

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
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Top reviews from Australia

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5.0 out of 5 stars Oh Cook! some of these.
By Joanne Murphy on 15 December 2020
I love this book. James May perfectly captured in writing the spirit and charm that I fell in love with on Top Gear / Grand Tour. The book itself is beautiful and the recipes easy to follow and delicious.
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Reviewed in Australia on 1 January 2021
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Reviewed in Australia on 21 December 2020
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mike langdon
5.0 out of 5 stars Good news!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 November 2020
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The jolly rancher
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than I expected.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 November 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Better than I expected.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 1 November 2020
James May’s basic cooking for those who like good food but don’t necessarily know how to cook it.

The book is written in the same chatty style which Mr May uses to present his programs, there’s no technical talk, everything is explained simply, from what you need in your kitchen to start your culinary journey to what is nice to have (and why it’s nice to have it).

The recipes are broken into sections it starts with brunch which is a bit Road side cafe in the main, with things like black pudding hash, American pancakes with crispy bacon and then, oddly, boiled eggs with avocado and prosciutto soldiers ( a bit posh/ hipster to be in with the “blokey” type recipes to my mind).

He then moves on to pasta, we have the classic spaghetti bolognaise to start us off, followed by what to make with any left over spaghetti bolognaise ( a good idea) things get a little more complex with a lentil and aubergine lasagne , more complex but well explained and still something a beginner can manage.

Then we have “pub grub” which is pies - in the form of fish, cottage, a bizarre half chicken and mushroom and half cheesy leek concoction and also staple pub grub like steak and chips, chillli con carne, before we get a bit posh again with bean cassoulet, ratatouille and baked trout.

In chapter four he tackles roasts, from home made gravy and stock to roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings and steamed veggies, for the vegetarians he has nut roast ( more simple than it sounds). All easy to follow recipes and would give even the most wet behind the ears cook the confidence give things a try.

A chapter on curries follows covering things that you would normally buy ready made like raita and chapatis as well as the normal curries you’d expect to see. It ends with fake Indian rice pudding.

A more adventurous chapter on Asian fusion food follows on, the recipes are more complex but still plausible for an amateur cook, like salmon and ginger with veg stir fry, which we tried and found it to be very good. Spicy tofu broth is in there too and is remarkably simple to make - as long as you have the ingredients of course.

Bbq chapter follows, burgers, kebabs, buffalo wings - all simple and easy to follow recipes explained in his no nonsense manner. Anyone can manage this section with ease and it will all impress bbq party guests.

Then we have spongy things, which is all a bit school puddings with jam roly- poly, spotteddick, custard all popping up.

He finishes with probably the most useful chapter of all- store cupboard saviours where he makes things with the tins/cans, dried things we all tend to keep a store of, if you don’t have a store cupboard don’t worry he starts the chapter by telling you what you should have in a store cupboard, here we have the wonders of “minging hot dogs”, sardines on toast, alphabet spaghetti on toast ( he adds pesto and Parmesan- he doesn’t just open a tin)

What I took from this book that it was designed to install confidence into someone who wants to make something, be it a classic roast or a more adventurous curry dish. It’s written to appeal to his fan base of, dare I say it, slightly older men who don’t normally cook that much and it is good at what it does. As for the target audience, I’d say this is the book you buy your newly divorced mate whose wife did all the cooking and now he’s in the kitchen, cooking for himself, for the first time.

It has the usual pretty pictures of food on slate or chunky wooden tables, these look good and make the book a nice read, even if they are a bit against Mr Mays’ style, however making it pretty and desirable to read is a good thing as you need to read it and make notes on what you want to make before attempting the recipes so you can make sure that you have the ingredients in before starting dinner.
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Liam Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars Cooking Nora
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 October 2020
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Portilla88
5.0 out of 5 stars Got my partner cooking, finally!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 January 2021
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Lauren Hopkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Most recipies can be adapted to suit allergies.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 October 2020
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