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Living & Eating Hardcover – November 6, 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

What do architectural design and food have in common? According to internationally acclaimed architect John Pawson and celebrated food writer Annie Bell, both are best when pared down to their essentials. Their goal in Living and Eating is to enrich the experience of living by getting rid of everything that is unnecessary and distracting, leaving us with the elements that truly matter. They seek to enhance the time we spend in the kitchen and at the table without expending extra time or effort.

The recipes are stunning--surely impressive enough to wow guests--but all are exceedingly simple to prepare. In Red Wine Risotto, wine cloaks the rice with a lustrous deep crimson emulsion and creates a delectably silky texture. Only butter, a chopped onion, chicken stock, and a little Parmesan are needed to complete the dish. Roast Monkfish is smeared with an anchovy-rosemary-lemon-butter and wrapped with prosciutto. As it bakes, a deliciously buttery sauce is formed, perfect for mopping up with chunks of crusty bread.

Pawson and Bell include no fewer than nine recipes for roast chicken--from homey Chicken Roasted with Garlic to the more exotic Roast Guinea Hen with Pistachio and Lemon Crumbs. Desserts are likewise familiar, while at the same time elegant enough to serve to guests. Baked Couscous Pudding with Raisins offers a clever twist on rice pudding--and it's equally rich and satisfying. Pan-Poached Nectarines in Spiced Wine Syrup are exotically scented with lemongrass and cardamom pods.

With its spare page design and stunning photographs of Pawson's extraordinary home, Living and Eating will surely strike a chord with anyone looking for a simpler way to live, eat, and entertain. --Robin Donovan


'No one understands modern life better than John Pawson. Together with Annie Bell he has captured its essence in this new book.', Calvin Klein --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter (November 6, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609609130
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609609132
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.1 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By J. H. S. Roodt on July 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Being an amateur cook is not always easy. But this book starts out setting the stage with cookware etc. It then explains in an effortless way how to cook some of the best dishes I have ever prepared. The stuff works every time and it always looks good. Currently this is my one stop book for all my dinner parties, and I have a large collection of cookbooks! Well worth the money and a beautiful book to read as well.
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Format: Hardcover
I found my copy of this book used at a library book sale a couple years ago. So, why write a review of it on Amazon, especially now? I just moved abroad and my copy of this book is among those that didn't find their way into my suitcase. I miss it already.

I must admit that the first time I looked through it, I found it pretentious and unrealistic. The recipes, the recommendations, etc. All of it seemed a bit contrived.

However, I got to know it. I misinterpreted it at first. What I though was pretentious or whatever was more along the lines of an exploration of food in line with a particular philosophy. It's a balance of food, philosophy, and solid ideas that I haven't managed to find anywhere else. Once I sat down and understood it for the statement that it is, it became incredibly valuable to me.

I started cooking as a line cook at a big chain seafood restaurant. Not inspiring, but it got me comfortable with cooking, with working with a variety of ingredients in a way I was unable to before. After I left, I started cooking for myself, and eventually this book was one of the things that really helped me find joy and ultimately a very enriching experience in cooking. It was a great presence for me.

This is the sort of book that won't be to the taste of a lot of potential buyers. It has an agenda and makes no apologies. However, if you can see the beauty in the philosophy that underlies the book as a whole and explore it for yourself, it's wonderful. Not for everyone, but all the same I recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover
I've got hundreds of cookery books. This is my favourite cookery book for several reasons. The recipes are fail-proof and the results are restaurant quality every time. The recipes appeal to me and make me want to try them (there are only a handful of things remaining that I've not tried to make yet). The book is as much about lifestyle and style as much as cookery - its refreshing to look at and inspiring to read. My favourite recipes from the book are often the most simple and frequently cook them - midnight spaghetti, vichyssoise & salmon, venetian peas & rice, tomato & basil lasagne, the best shepherds pie you could ever make and a nifty way to cook perfect, tender steaks.
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Format: Paperback
Pawson is an aesthete and a brilliant architect focused very much on minimalism. This form of design taste is not appreciated or understood by many people, but once you get bit by the bug, it is truly a way of life - call it Zen - for want of better words. I can forgive him what one reviewer here calls "pretentious". This book is a wonderful blend of food and style and is a fine source of makers of some of the most beautiful cooking equipment and and eating ware on the planet.

The recipes are excellent and it is a fine cookery book as well a book on design associated with eating. I have several hundred cookery books and this is a huge favourite. One of the very best.
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