After a few years spent gathering cookbooks that I would like to follow, I've finally begun gathering a few that I can. James Martin's 'Masterclass' falls comfortably into the latter category and not least of all because he explains in detail how to poach an egg...stylishly yet simply.

Having done it before (with the aid of another more expensive, less detailed book) Martin's tip of adding white wine vinegar, before plopping the completed poached eggs into iced water sealed the deal.

The full title: 'Masterclass: Make Your Home Cooking Easier' explains what the popular 'Saturday Kitchen' presenter is going for here and whether it's a family roast or ideal dishes for the new 'lap-dining' trend, he delivers.

I did have to look up alternatives though for a couple of fatty ingredients such as double cream plus I wished there were more pics - I like to know where I'm heading when I embark on an unknown course. However you can't go far wrong with his detailed images and recipes on how to make pasta, tie a joint for roasting, the Classic Beef Wellington, Basic White Bread, Basic White Sauce, Lining a Tart Tin and many more

He has some quick family favourites including chorizo and chilli roast potatoes, oodles of soups, meat and vegetarian dishes plus plenty of tips for the accomplished cook, looking to up-skill too.

Taragh Loughrey-Grant