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favourite chef/cook book

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by sparklepig2002, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    OH came home yesterday with the Hairy Bikers Bakeathon book from their recent TV series round Europe and the recent cookbook from the two Italians. Both books are fantstic and unusual in the fact that most of the recipes appeal to me. I have lots of cook books but oftern only use one or two recipes from each one. I like the Hairy Bikers because of their "no nonsense" approach to cooking. I cant' stand Gorden Ramsey and as a result don't look at any of his cookbooks. Do you have a)a favourite chef and b)a favourite cook book?
  2. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    a) Nigella Lawson
    b) How to Eat
  3. RJR_38

    RJR_38 New commenter

    Nigel Slater - Tender 1 ( I like tender 2 as well but I am more of a veg than fruit person)

    I love the way he writes about food passionately and yet he is sow down to earth and practical and offers simple, good quality recipes that always work.
  4. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Am a huge fan of this book. Lawson has a great many detractors but I imagine most of them haven't read this book. Made far before she became renowned for her silly pseudo-pornographic finger sucking antics, it's a bible of cooking. She writes extremely well. Clearly a highly intelligent woman.

    I have loads of favourites but my absolute favourite food writer is probably Simon Hopkinson. Either Roast Chicken and Other Stories, Week In Week Out or The Prawn Cocktail Years. Such a great cook and a brilliant writer.
    Close come Elizabeth David's French Provincial Cooking, Jane Grigson's English Food, Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries, David Thompson's Thai Food, Rick Stein's English Seafood Cookery and the Nigella book mentioned above.
    I tend to prefer cookery books that contain great food writing along with the recipes, rather than just collections of recipes.
    I also think it's important to distinguish between chefs, cooks and food writers. Not many of the above are/were chefs. Of mine, only Stein and Hopkinson were chefs before writing (although Hopkinson gave it up a while ago). I think Thompson has a couple of restaurants nowadays, but he is first and foremost a food writer. None of the rest have ever been chefs, as indeed neither have The Hairy Bikers. I think they both have backgrounds in TV production.
  5. lapinrose

    lapinrose Star commenter

    Claudia Rodin Middle Eastern Cookery, as well as fabulous recipes, she tells stories and jokes, a really good book to read and cook from.
  6. Nigel slater
    Claudia Roden
    .......but not forgetting all the chefs/cooks that started me cooking 40 odd years ago....beginning with Marguerite Patten and Delia and progressing to Graham Kerr, Robert Carrier and John Tovey.
  7. wiemaranerlover

    wiemaranerlover New commenter

    Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries is the one I most regularly turn to. Probably cook something from it at least once a month.

    Nigella's How to Eat and How to be a Domestic Goddess are also used regularly as is Hummingbird Bakery book, although it's only a collection of recipes, no writing.

    And Delia's Christmas book is lovingly used every year, it has many a splash and crumb!
  8. The most fascinating cookbook I own is Claudia Roden's Mediterranean Food. We've cooked many dishes, and just reading it makes me as if I'm on holiday.
    The book I actually use most often is Nigel Slater's Real Fast Food. I like his sly prose and the dishes are unashamedly simple.

  9. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    I was torn between this and Kitchen Diaries for my Nigel Slater favourite. This book taught me to cook (as in taught me how to cook instinctively rather than following recipes). I don't use it that much any more as I know it pretty much off by heart. It's also falling apart and is scorched from when I managed to set fire to it but I don't want to replace it as it has so many years of memories. It is the book that I always recommend to anyone who says they either can't cook or don't have time to. I've bought it for a few people as presents as well. It's a masterpiece.
  10. the evil tokoloshe

    the evil tokoloshe New commenter

    I don't usually use cookbooks at all, but consult a set of Time/Life ones from the 60s/70s which I picked up second hand in Zimbabwe. The Chinese one is impossible even now in places as there is no chance of getting some of the veg or even meat over here. The Eastern Europe and Russia one is pretty good though, and the hardback South America one is almost psychedelic in its photos and cover (chillis of all types and colours).
    For food writers, you have to go a long way to beat Tony Bourdain - A Cook's Tour or even Kitchen Confidential (not as foody, more about his life). Always loved Gerald Durrell's descriptions of food in his books as well.
  11. I've just gone back to Mr Floyd - oddly those ingredients that we shuddered at back then are storecupboard staples now!
    But I really just buy coookery books to read, not to cook out of [​IMG]
    Nigel Slater here too, fruit more than veg! And the 'Fast' books
  12. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    I love Keith Floyd...his 'Floyd on France' was a favourite of mine for many years - not that I ever cooked anything from it! He had such enthusiasm for food.....and wine!
    I have a well-thumbed copy of Readers Digest Cookery Year (actually it is a replacement as my beloved original fell apart!). It is great for the 'basics' and I like the way it focuses on what is in season each month. Good Housekeeping is also a great book for the basics.
    Then, I have a few 'diet' related cookbooks that I occasionally use to check a recipe...a couple of WW and the F2 ones.
    On the opposite side of the scale I have books like Red Velve....hmmm must get that out again and do a spot of cake baking!
    Also I have my hand-written ones. Recipes from Omi and from Mum which I now have and continue.I defy any celebrity chef to come up with a better semolina dumpling than our old tried-and-tested passed-down-the-family recipe!
  13. I loved Keith Floyd- not one of the TV chefs comes close for entertainment value. I always prefer the amateurish ones over the serious, pasty-faced Michelin star seekers with their little stacks and smears
  14. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    My favourite books and chefs change a lot, depending on my mood.
    I love the Leith's books as they give so much practical advice.
    At the moment, I am reading Secrets of the Red Lantern - a book which combines Vietnamese recipes and the stories of a family. Its beautifully done.
  15. I've just had it and it was very good. I am now a convert to sweet potato!
    I don't think I should breach Hugh's copyright but it involves garlic, lime, chilli and lots of peanut butter. I wouldn't make it the way Hugh makes it, though. He suggests putting blobs of the peanut butter mix in between the sweet potato but this means it isn't mixed in. I would mix it with the other liquid ingredients next time.
    The cauliflower and chick pea curry tasted good before I put the cauliflower in. I would try the same spice mix again with a different vegetable.
  16. henriette

    henriette New commenter

  17. That's the one.
    Many of these recipes are meat accompaniments and not purely veggie.
  18. lapinrose

    lapinrose Star commenter

    Isn't it on the internet somewhere? If so you can post it and credit the source. Or give your version of it.
  19. I've just returned from a trip to town where, passing a discount bookshop, I found HFW's veg book for £11.99 and the Greedy Italians book for £6.99!!!!!
    So of course, I bought both.........there had better be some mega cheap dishes in them as I have blown my food budget for the week!
    Filthy day again here, so I am going to whizz round and have a quick tidy up, drag the dog out, light the fire and thoroughly indulge myself.
  20. Its as if posts 21 and 22 never happened.
    Sainsbury's has Hugh's book for £12.50. I hope the bargain bookshop one proves to be a good investment.

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