Reading List


I particularly enjoy the reviews, columns and recipes of:

Giles Coren; Marina O’Loughlin; Nigel Slater; Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall; Nick Lander; Fay Maschler; AA Gill; Yotam Ottolenghi; Rowley Leigh.

I have the following blogs bookmarked:

Cheese and Biscuits; Food Stories; London EaterRecipe Rifle; Hollow Legs; Gourmet Travellera Rather Unusual Chinaman; Food UrchinLeluu; TwelvePointFivePercent; Poires au Chocolat; Burger Anarchy; Eat Like A Girl; Eatlovenoodles; The Little Loaf; Mummy I Can Cook; Gatto Bravo; The Intolerant Gourmet and the supreme Yugnich Eats.

I find these websites to be useful resources:

In print

I collect recipe books. Old and new. I don’t intend to list them all. Back in May 2010 I recommended the following:

  • Buckingham, Annabel and Miers, Thomasina ed., Soup Kitchen (London, Collins, 2005) – great collection of seasonal soups.
  • David, Elizabeth, French Provincial Cooking (London, Grub Street, 2007) – a genuinely useful classic.
  • Fearnley-Whittingstall, Hugh, The River Cottage Cookbook (London, Harper Collins, 2001) – a seminal tome, both in content and design.
  • Hopkinson, Simon, Roast chicken and other stories (London, Ebury Press, 1994) – pleasing ideas for a selection of key ingredients.
  • Lawson, Nigella, How to Eat: the pleasures and principles of good food (London, Chatto & Windus, 1998) – as the title says.
  • Martin, James, Desserts (London, Quadrille, 2007) – terrible TV presenter, good dessert recipes.
  • Oliver, Jamie, The Naked Chef (London, Michael Joseph, 1999) – his first and maybe best?
  • Slater, Nigel, The Kitchen Diaries (London, Fourth Estate, 2005) – a year’s eating from the king of food writers.
  • Slater, Nigel, Tender, vol I: a cook and his vegetable patch (London, Fourth Estate, 2009) – because there should be at least two of his in this list (could have been any of a number).
  • Smith, Delia, Delia Smith’s Winter Collection (London, BBC Books, 1995) – you probably don’t think it, but she’s the reason, directly or indirectly, why many of us can cook.

I also said that, on another day, others would have come to mind. Now (March 2012), I think that amongst many others and in addition to the list above, I use and admire the following quite a lot:

  • Blumenthal, Heston, Heston Blumenthal at Home (London, Bloomsbury, 2011) – complicating easy home dishes, but telling us why and how.
  • Clark, Sam and Clark, Sam, Moro, the Cookbook (London, Ebury Press, 2001) – the original Moro cookbook. So many fantastic recipes.
  • Henderson, Fergus, Nose to Tail Eating: a Kind of British Cooking (London, Bloomsbury, 2004) – pure British genius, uniquely written. I yearn for a 1999 First Edition.
  • Hildebrand, Caz & Kenedy, Jacob, The Geometry of Pasta (London, Boxtree, 2010) – a pasta bible and a beautifully designed and written book.
  • Ottolenghi, Yotam, Ottolenghi the Cookbook (London, Ebury Press, 2008) – super salads & meat dishes. Ideal for buffet inspiration.
  • McGee, Harold, McGee on Food and Cooking: an Encyclopedia of Kitchen Science, History and Culture (London, Hodder and Stoughton, 2004) – revised version of 1984 compendium on the science of cooking. No recipes but instructive and a must for the interested cook.

Finally, if you like reading about food, I think you will enjoy:

  • Chang, David/McSweeney’s, Lucky Peach – Fire and Knives on crack.
  • Dahl, Roald, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, new edition (Puffin Fiction, 2001)
  • Hayward, Tim (ed), Fire and Knives a quarterly collection of new food writing
  • Kurlansky, Mark, Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World (Vintage Books, 1999)
  • Segnit, Nicki, The Flavour Thesaurus; Pairings, recipes and ideas for the creative cook (London, Bloomsbury, 2010)
  • Slater, Nigel, Toast: the story of a boy’s hunger (Harper Perennial, 2004)
  • Cereal magazine. Properly nice.