I know how many cookbook round-ups there are at this time of year but here, for what it’s worth, is my selection. It differs a little from the normal lists for being less about what I would buy and more about what I think would suit different friends and family. You’re not going to give the same book to a 19 year old who’s just starting out in the kitchen to someone who has been cooking for 40 years.
Regular contributor Lucy Bridgers, who is in the unusual position of having worked on the World Atlas of Wine herself takes a comprehensive look at the latest edition and considers whether you should buy it in book or electronic form.
There have been the predictable howls of outrage over Jamie Oliver’s new book Save with Jamie. How dare a multi-millionaire, with no concept of what it’s like to go hungry, tell the poorest in society how to eat?
Good to see that Susy Atkins excellent 'How to make your own drinks' has been reissued in paperback - maybe even more of the moment now than it was two years ago.
It’s a measure of how frantic we are to lose weight that Dr Michael Mosley’s diet book The Fast Diet shot straight to number 1 on Amazon yesterday. But is it worth buying?
Two ‘grandes dames’ of the food writing world, Claudia Roden and Paula Wolfert, have new books out - The Food of Spain (Roden’s first book for five years) and The Food of Morocco. So which should you buy?
I’ve been meaning for a while to review cookbooks in pairs which makes sense unless you’re a total obsessive like me. Most people compare a couple of recently published books and decide which to buy instead of buying them both. This series may help you to make up your mind.
The surprise publishing hit among food books last year was not the record selling Jamie’s 30-minute meals or even the new Nigella but an unillustrated book called The Flavour Thesaurus by an unknown author, Niki Segnit. The book catalogues nearly 1000 flavour combinations which are described in an endearingly quirky way. It’s erudite, original and funny
I remember going up to Lincolnshire write a piece on The Ginger Pig back in the early 90s well before artisan food producers were in vogue. It was a small farm turning out some excellent pork from the strangest pigs I’d ever seen, wiry ginger-haired Tamworths.
The latest orthodoxy about bookselling in these straitened times must be that a book has to be big to sell well. Hence the 492 pages devoted to Nigella’s latest opus Kitchen which weighs in at 1890g or 4lb 2 oz. (Out of curiosity I checked).
Leafing through Ryn and Cordie’s new book I realised how untypical it was. You get the impression most wine books - even ones about food and wine matching - are written for middle-aged men. The few for women tend to be of the fluffy Chicklit variety with cartoons indicating that wine isn’t really a subject they need overly bother their pretty heads with.
It’s almost 20 years ago now since Josh Wesson wrote his first book on food and wine pairing - the ground-breaking Red Wine with Fish: the new art of Matching Wine with Food which he co-authored with David Rosengarten. He then went on to set up the attractive and innovative wine store Best Cellars which groups wines by style
A few years ago you really struggled to find a book on food and wine matching (If I can modestly recall, I wrote a couple of them!). Recently though a number have been published, particularly in the States, reflecting the interest in the subject and I'm occasionally asked which I would recommend.
You’d think, wouldn’t you, that most chefs would be pretty good at food and wine matching, not least French chefs. Well, you’d be wrong! I’m constantly shocked by the number of chefs who haven’t the faintest idea what wine goes best with their recipes or indeed, who drink wine at all. (Some of them possibly because they’ve, er hem, enjoyed it a bit too much in the past . . . )