Kitchen Essays by Agnes Jekyll
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Agnes Jekyll (1860-1937) was the supreme hostess:  her house was described as "the apogee of opulent comfort and order without grandeur, smelling of pot-pouri, furniture polish and wood smoke".  Helen Garlick reads a few of her favourite extracts...
Relish: My Life on a Plate - Prue Leith

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Prue Leith has led an extraordinarily rich and varied life.  Born in South Africa, she left for France as a young woman, worked as an au pair and studied at the Sorbonne.  But it was in London that she enrolled at the Cordon Bleu and became a caterer. She opened Leith's restaurant in the swinging sixties and it quickly established itself as the place to be seen.  Her clientele included all of the movers and shakers of the day. Six years later came the cookery school which still bears her name.  Successful business woman, newspaper columnist, government advisor, novelist, she also sustained a happy marriage and raised two children.

Here, for the very first time, Prue can be heard reading extracts from her autobiography.

Relish: My Life on a Plate is searingly honest, tender and very funny.

 

Kitchen Essays by Agnes Jekyll - No.2

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Agnes Jekyll's gift for friendship and organisational skills made her an excellent hostess.

Helen Garlick reads three more extracts from Kitchen Essays, published in The Times in 1922, in which Lady Jekyll passes on 'some of the wit and wisdom of her clever and imaginative housekeeping'.

Edward Trencom's Nose - Giles Milton

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Edward Trencom has bumbled through life, relying on his trusty nose to turn the family cheese shop into the most celebrated fromagerie in England.

Author Giles Milton has chosen two extracts to read.

 

Countryman's Cooking - W.M.W. Fowler

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Willie Fowler's Countryman's Cooking was written for men.

W.M.W. Fowler joined Bomber Command in WW2, flew Lancasters, was shot down by the Germans and ended up in Stalag Luft 3.  When he returned to Cumbria after his release in 1945,  he took to farming mink, then daffodils, while rediscovering the delights of hunting, shooting and fishing, not to mention cooking, eating and womanising.  We have three extracts read by Rupert Baker to whet the appetite...

The Perfect Egg - Aldo Buzzi

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"Scholarly, playful, idiosyncratic and witty, Aldo Buzzi's The Perfect Egg is an excursion into the food that has obsessed, provoked and intrigued the author through his life."

 

From the back of the shelf: Cookbook Quote No. 1

Harvey Day

Welcome to the revival of our blog, From the Back of the Shelf, with the first Cookbook Quote. We'd love you to send us suggestions from any forgotten or undiscovered gems gathering dust on the back of your shelves to add to what we hope will become an entertaining collection.

To kick off here is a period piece from The Complete Book of Curries by Harvey Day, published by Nicholas Kaye Ltd, 1966.  It may have originally appeared in The First Book of Curries published earlier in 1955.  It is part of the introduction to a chapter called 'Rice Dishes' and argues that rice has played a part in forming the English character... 

zee, 19th March, 2013

Dumas on Food
Alexandre Dulmas

Alexandre Dumas, best known for such classic novels as The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo and Man in the Iron Mask, wanted to be remembered for a far more esoteric book.  Food was his real passion in life and his Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine was the one book the great novelist cared about.  Mark Hilton reads extracts from Alan and Jane Davidson's translation,  Dumas On Food.
Fuchsia Dunlop - Every Grain of Rice

 

Fuchsia Dunlop 2Fuchsia Dunlop is a world authority on Chinese cooking and her books, articles and blogs are an absolute delight.  

Here she talks about her latest book, Every Grain of Rice, which, unlike her others, is not focused on one province, but is a collection of delicious everyday recipes, mainly from southern China.

Every Grain of Rice

This is an extract from a longer interview and discussion on Chinese food with Mark Hilton of Xiamen University which will follow shortly.

 

The Table Comes First

The Table Comes First

 

Adam Gopnik's The Table Comes First is a witty meditation on life and food.  It is subtitled Family, France and the Meaning of Food.  Jesse Thompson reads two extracts here.

You can also see Adam Gopnik in conversation with Fergus Henderson, who unwittingly gave him the title for his book, in our Watch section.