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Roast Chicken and Other Stories provides an insight into Simon Hopkinson's unique style of unpretentious cooking with 160 of his favourite recipes. Simon Hopkinson's forty favourite ingredients include everyday basics as potatoes, chicken and cod as well as more exotic foods such as asparagus and truffles. The cookbook is arranged alphabetically with a chapter on each food. Unable to hide his great love of food, Hopkinson writes about why he likes each particular ingredient, and gives sensible advice on quality, variety and good cooking principles together with the recipes. The book is aimed at home cooks and all the recipes can be prepared by anyone with basic cooking skills. From Grilled Augergine with Pesto to Roast Chicken and Homemade Ice Cream, Simon Hopkinson's food is always honest and inviting, designed to please rather than simply to impress.
Born in Bury, Lancashire, Simon Hopkinson left school at 17 to begin a career as a chef. He opened his first restaurant, the Shed, near Fishguard, just before his 21st birthday. In 1983 he launched himself on the London restaurant scene, becoming chef at Hilaire in the Old Brompton Road. He swiftly found himself one of the most acclaimed young chefs in the business and his friendship with Terence Conran led to the opening of Bibendum in the restored Michelin building in 1987. He retired as a full-time chef in 1995 to concentrate more on writing. As well as Roast Chicken and Other Stories and Second Helpings of Roast Chicken his books include Gammon & Spinach (1998) and The Prawn Cocktail Years (1999) and he also writes a column in the Independent. His critically acclaimed cookery writing has won him the Andre Simon award, and the Glenfiddich Award three times.