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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,