Weekend is an old fashioned famous white bloke’s cookbook. The 100 motley recipes that brazenly raid global cooking traditions – like famous white bloke’s cookbooks tend to do – are hung around the thin premise of ‘weekend’ cooking when notionally you have more time to spend in the kitchen. In reality, you could knock many of the recipes up at any time of the week. But no matter, the concept doesn’t seem to detain Tebbutt too much, who expounds on it briefly in some fleeting introductory passages, so let’s not let it spoil our fun. There’s some nice things to cook here.
The author is Saturday morning BBC TV’s Mr Wobbly Head Matt Tebbutt, presenter of Saturday Kitchen. He formerly ran The Foxhunter pub in Wales and has worked in the kitchens of top chefs Marco Pierre White and Alistair Little, among others. That dates him.
You should buy Weekend if you want to cook some nice things to eat. It’s really no more complicated, or interesting than that. Recipes are divided into six chapters: Friday Night (I’m not even going to try explain what that’s meant to mean as I’ll have to use the phrase ‘ fuss-free fodder’ and then I’d have to kill myself); breakfast and brunch; lunch and BBQ; Saturday night (when you’re not watching Britain’s Got Talent in your PJs with a Domino’s, apparently); Sunday lunch and Desserts.
The head-spinningly varied collection careens from Portuguese chicken, coriander and garlic soup to Malaysian nasi lemak, and from a Reuben sandwich to biltong. There’s Mexican-style grilled corn, Italian malfatti dumplings with tuna, American cobb salad and Cape Malay lamb curry. It’s not what you’d call cohesive, or true to any particular culinary heritage, style or tradition. It’s all over the bloody place, but then, isn’t that how many of us cook at home?
You’re not going to learn anything profound from the book, it’s not going to change your life, but you will almost certainly enjoy cooking from it. It’s something for the weekend.
Buy this book
Weekend by Matt Tebbutt
Suitable for: For beginners/confident home cooks
Cookbook Review Rating: Four stars