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The flamboyant Frenchman Alexis Soyer was the most renowned chef in Victorian England. This is his colourful account of his time at the front in the Crimean War, where he joined British troops in order to improve the quality of the food they were eating.

Divulging the secrets of preparing stew for 1000 soldiers, sharing sweetmeats with a Turkish Pacha, and teaching a Highland regiment to cook with his pioneering gas-fuelled 'field stove' that would be used by armies up until the Second World War, Soyer gives a vividly enjoyable lesson in making a little go a long way.

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