Nigella Lawson read Medieval and Modern Languages at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford and went on to become Deputy Literary Editor of The Sunday Times, followed by a successful career as a freelance journalist, writing for a range of magazines and newspapers. In 1998 she wrote her first cookbook, How To Eat, The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food, and now has ten bestselling books to her name with over five million sales in the UK alone. Nigella has made several hit TV series which are aired across the globe. In 1998 she was a judge for the Booker Prize and in 2000 she chaired the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. She was voted Author of the Year in the British Book Awards 2000. Of her top 10 cookbooks, Nigella notes “There are many more recent books I value, but these are the ones I have been cooking from over decades”.Read More
A beautiful beast of a book, over 1,000 pages long and weighing in at 2.5 kilos, this Australian classic bulges with ideas, inspiration and recipes that still seem fresh and original 20 years after it was first published.
Long before I started writing about food, I was inspired by the vibrancy of Australian cooking and this - along with the Cook’s Companion, above - was (and remains) a key text for me.
Warm, engaged, witty writing not just about food, but life.
I struggled between choosing this or her Vegetable Book, but in either (and indeed in all her work) Jane Grigson is an unparalleled writer: she brings taste, charm, erudition, wisdom; hers is the most civilised voice in food writing.
This is the book that started my enduring love affair with bread-making. Subtitled ‘The Slow Rise as Meaning and Metaphor’, it gives so much more than recipes.
Recipes are not mere formulae: they need to tell a story about who we are. And this book does just that - and with such charm.
Anna Del Conte remains for me the greatest writer on Italian food in English, and this is a book that is as thoughtful as it is practical, and one of the most precious titles in my library.
Even if I didn’t adore this book for its brio and unpretentiously brilliant recipes, I’d have to nominate it for the beauty of Henderson’s writing.
This book exemplifies the force of food writing as social history.
The canon of home baking in America (and beyond) has always held a particular fascination for me, and this book is an engaging compendium of the genre.