The introduction to Chop Sizzle Wow sets out the basics of good Italian cooking and with the recipes taken from the classic The Silver Spoon you know straight-away that it’s the real deal.
There is a good balance between meat and veg, sweet and savoury inside and each recipe has a series of illustrations for the main points of the dish.
The back of the book has a glossary and more detailed run-down of techniques which is great to refer to when you’re cooking but does involve a bit of flipping backwards and forwards. There is a series of menus to help creating whole meals from the recipes in the book, perfect for entertaining or impressing people.
The illustrations are really fun to look through but not all of them are clear. It’s hard to see the details and without written instruction sometimes you do have to guess.
Very occasionally the recipes have inconsistencies in them, differences between the text and the image or illustrations that are harder to follow. It’s an entertaining cookbook but while the images will be more engaging for kids there is not really enough instruction for beginners, some of the recipes are hard to follow without detailed notes alongside them so it’s perhaps better for those who already know their way around a kitchen.
The originality of the book comes from the style rather than the recipes which are largely family favourites that you will have tasted or seen on menus even if you’ve not attempted cooking them before. It would be great to have more details about sizes and amounts for new cooks. It’s a great introduction to this fresh new style of cookbook.
It takes a while to get used to looking at illustrations instead of photographs as it’s so often the pictures that make us want to tuck in and try a new recipe. The fonts are great with alternating black and white and bold titles. The text itself is a little harder to read but you quickly get used to it.
Looking for Christmas gift ideas?
Chop Sizzle Wow would be a great cookbook for someone who loves graphic illustration and loves cooking. If you normally buy comic books or graphic novels for someone then this would make a great alternative, something unexpected and unique!