Top critical review
49 people found this helpful
These are great recipes -- just try to ignore the layout
on April 11, 2013
Gordon Ramsay's Fast Food is a book that delivers everything it promises, specifically "More than 100 delicious, super-fast, and easy recipes." There is nothing wrong with any of the recipies. I have tried several since I purchased the book and I have not had a single fail yet. What's really amazing is that the dishes take literally 15-20 minutes to prepare, 3-5 steps to make, and taste like something I would order at a restaurant. Ramsay includes meal plans of a main dish, side, and dessert along with a step by step guide that tells you in what order you can prepare the meal (as in while the sauce is simmering, prepare the vegetables for baking). The meal is satisfying and usually pretty health as well. You won't find deep frying or tons of butter in this book, but you will find spices and cooking techniques that are simple as well as delicious.
The main criticism that most people have with the Gordon Ramsay's Fast Food is the exotic ingredients, but those ingredients are easier to find than you might think. Of course you won't find a duck egg in Wal Mart, and I understand that not everyone has access to While Foods, but everyone else can't limit themselves to chicken breast and ground beef. I'm surprised by how easy it is to get what I previously thought was an "exotic" ingredient like bamboo shoots or curry paste. Even if I can't find it in my local grocery store or farmer's market, there's a quick substitute or I can just skip whatever I can't readily find in the supermarket that day. The point of the wide variety is that I can have a different protein or side every night of the week and never get bored, and it doesn't take anymore effort than mundane food.
There are some drawbacks. The worst is the layout. The pages have the feel of color blocking -- a bright color with large white or black blocky script, usually with a close-up picture of the food next to the recipe text. Peppered throughout is, for lack of a better term, Gordanisms like "However amazing a dish looks, it is always the tast that lingers in your memory. Family and friends will appreciate a meal that tastes superb -- even if you've brough the pan to the table." Its just stuck in there randomly, which would work for a coffee table book, but this is a cook book. If you have actual advice to give, put it somewhere that I can find it and consider it. The color blocking layout is hard to red and sometimes interfers with the point of the book. To vary the layout of the pages, some recipes lack an ingredients list on the side of the recipe, which is essential when you're running out the door and need to quickly look up what you need from the farmer's market. The script itself is often hard to read, especially the Table of Contents. If you concentrate, you can figure it out, but I shouldn't have to concentrate on anything but getting a good, healthy meal on the table.
I would recommend the book to anyone looking to spice up their meals without a huge commitment of time or money.