Pairings | Books

My top 20 books to give your friends for Christmas 2017

My top 20 books to give your friends for Christmas 2017

You might think the last thing you need is another list of this year’s cookery books. but indulge me in this slightly different take - who would you give them to and why would you find them useful.

My pick of 2013’s cookbooks

My pick of 2013’s cookbooks

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.

6 non-student cookbooks to take to uni

6 non-student cookbooks to take to uni

Most advice on cooking at uni is directed at freshers but the first few months at university is almost certainly the least likely time you’re going to be in the kitchen. You may well be in hall or a block of student flats that have very few facilities, certainly not for making anything ambitious.

Why my 2014 cookbook list never got compiled - and why it doesn’t matter

Why my 2014 cookbook list never got compiled - and why it doesn’t matter

i know you’re supposed to run a blog like a magazine. Schedule in topical features and run them when people are looking for that kind of content but this year my annual round-up of cookery books which should usefully have come out at the beginning of December just didn’t happen.

The best cookbooks to buy for last-minute Christmas presents

The best cookbooks to buy for last-minute Christmas presents

I intended to write this post about a month ago when most normal people do their Christmas shopping but hey, it’s suddenly December 22nd and only two shopping days to Christmas. There are however those who leave their shopping until the VERY last minute (I did most of mine at the weekend) and for you this guide may solve all your Christmas present dilemmas in one go.

Recipes that don’t work. The unspoken problem with cookery books

Recipes that don’t work. The unspoken problem with cookery books

Cookery books may still be selling like hotcakes but I sometimes wonder why given that so many of the recipes don’t actually work. Unsurprisingly it’s not a subject the publishing industry cares to dwell on but it’s a more widespread problem than you’d think.

The Cookbook Dilemma: Let’s Eat or Good Things to Eat?

The Cookbook Dilemma: Let’s Eat or Good Things to Eat?

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.

New voices in food

New voices in food

As little as a year ago - can it be that short a time? - it felt as if food writing was in terminal decline. Newspapers and food magazines were dominated by the same old names, generally fostered by a restaurant or TV connection. Some, it was rumoured (choosing my words carefully), didn’t even write their own columns or books.

The Cookbook Dilemma: The Food of Spain or The Food of Morocco?

The Cookbook Dilemma: The Food of Spain or The Food of Morocco?

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?

A Change of Appetite - but what if your beloved doesn't want to change?

A Change of Appetite - but what if your beloved doesn't want to change?

I can’t tell you how excited I was about A Change of Appetite. To the extent that, impatient with the review copy not having arrived I dragged myself on a fruitless visit to Waitrose to buy it then drove down to Bristol City centre. On a Saturday afternoon. (Locals will know this how insane this is.)

Sud de France: Caroline Conran's love letter to Languedoc

Sud de France: Caroline Conran's love letter to Languedoc

It’s a sign of just how good Sud de France is that it managed to pick up two major prizes last year (an Andre Simon and Fortnum & Mason award) without a single colour photo* or its author, well known and respected though she is in foodie circles, currently being on TV.

A review of Josh Wesson's 'Wine & Food'

A review of Josh Wesson's 'Wine & Food'

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

Book review: Leon Fast Vegetarian

Book review: Leon Fast Vegetarian

Having eaten Jane Baxter’s food on a number of occasions I was really looking forward to the publication of Leon Fast Vegetarian, the book she’s just written with Leon founder Henry Dimbleby, one of a series of books that has been published by the Leon chain.

Flavour matching with Niki Segnit

Flavour matching with Niki Segnit

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

Book of the month: Mamushka by Olia Hercules

Book of the month: Mamushka by Olia Hercules

How often do you find a recipe book that offers a genuinely original selection of recipes inspired by a cooking tradition you’re not even aware of? For those whose shelves are bulging with Italian and middle-eastern cookbooks, Mamushka, by the talented young chef and food stylist Olia Hercules, offers a window into a different culinary world.

Essence: recipes from Le Champignon Sauvage by David Everitt-Mathias

If you haven't heard of David Everitt-Mathias I wouldn't be surprised. But ask any leading chef in Britain - including Gordon Ramsay and Heston Blumenthal, who have both paid tribute to him in this book - and they certainly will.

Rabbit stifado

Rabbit stifado

A robust, winey stew from Rebecca Seal's mouthwatering new book, The Islands of Greece which immediately makes you want to jump on a plane and fly off there. Top tip about cooking rabbit too.

How to feed your friends like Fergus Henderson of St John

How to feed your friends like Fergus Henderson of St John

One of the most intriguing things to find out about chefs is not what they cook in their restaurants but what they feed their family and friends. True, at St John one morphs into the other, but the lunch they held in London this week to celebrate the publication of Fergus Henderson’s new book The Complete Nose to Tail was one I’d have been more than proud to put on for my mates.

Exciting news about my new e-book: 101 Great Ways to Enjoy Sherry

Exciting news about my new e-book: 101 Great Ways to Enjoy Sherry

This week has been the realisation of a long-held ambition to write a series of e-books on various aspects of food and drink pairing.

Introducing Fiona Beckett's Cheese Course . . .

Introducing Fiona Beckett's Cheese Course . . .

If you’re a fellow cheese fan I hope you’ll forgive me blowing my own trumpet and pointing you to my latest book Fiona Beckett’s Cheese Course. Actually I don’t feel too bad about it because at least half its appeal is its quite gorgeous photography (by Richard Jung) and I can’t claim credit for that!

Wine Lover's Kitchen

Wine Lover's Kitchen

I'm pretty sure most of you don't have a fraction of the half-finished bottles I do in my kitchen but I bet you have one or two. And that you don't want - as with other ingredients - to waste them. The solution, of course, is to cook with them and that's what my new book Wine Lover's Kitchen is all about.

Matching Food & Wine by Michel Roux Jr

Matching Food & Wine by Michel Roux Jr

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 . . . )

Jamie Goode reviews Jon Bonné's The New California Wine

Jamie Goode reviews Jon Bonné's The New California Wine

A guest post from award-winning wine writer Jamie Goode who gives his own personal take on Jon Bonné's The New California Wine and the issues it raises.

St John and the art of the long lunch

St John and the art of the long lunch

Everyone I know who’s into food has a soft spot for St John. True, it has/has had its ups and downs but It’s easy to forget just how groundbreaking it was when it opened 19 years ago. And how absolutely right its values still are in terms of serving great ingredients simply,

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