My French Vue

Bistro Cooking at Home – Shannon Bennett

A book review by Franz Scheurer


Shannon Bennett’s new book is handsome, practical and sturdy enough to withstand kitchen spills. I am super impressed with Simon Griffiths’ photography: it’s brilliantly focused and rustic, yet elegant.


In this book Bennett tries to par his style of food down to an achievable level without compromising flavour, and mostly he succeeds. The couple of recipes that I think would be beyond the capabilities of many home cook will make this book a treasure for the advanced cook who likes to be challenged.


Bennett starts the book with an alphabetical list of ingredient and moves on to the basic recipes that form the indispensable staples of every kitchen. The recipe section is divided into Appetisers, Soups, Light Lunches & Snacks, Salads, Seafood, Meat, Vegetables and Desserts, with a comprehensive index in the back. Reading though the book (and salivating), I can already taste the ‘Prawn Cocktail’ and want a plate of the ‘Crispy Asparagus with Butter Sauce’ now! The ‘French Onion Soup’ is gorgeous and the ‘Veal Skewers with Deep-fried Tuna Mayonnaise’ a technical masterpiece that’s easy to master. If you have a bit of time on your hands then ‘Bouillabaisse Risotto’ is the go and I love the ‘Perfect French Fries’, especially with goose fat. Try the ‘Omelette Rothschild’, it’s terrific and easy. And if you share Bennett’s love of pistachios then you might want to finish the night with the ‘Warm Pistachio Cupcakes’.


This book is worth having, worth buying as a gift and full of recipes that allure without challenging your abilities too much. And if you go to Vue de Monde’s website you can even buy a signed copy!



Published by Simon & Schuster (Australia) Pty. Limited

ISBN 9780731813223

RRP: $ 49.95