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Nigel Slater's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Nigel Slater recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Nigel Slater's favorite book recommendations of all time.

Note: this is a US edition of this cookbook.

"Cooking is not about just joining the dots, following one recipe slavishly and then moving on to the next," says British food writer Nigella Lawson. "It's about developing an understanding of food, a sense of assurance in the kitchen, about the simple desire to make yourself something to eat." Lawson is not a chef, but "an eater." She writes as if she's conversing with you while beating eggs or mincing garlic in your kitchen. She explains how to make the basics, such as roast chicken, soup stock, various sauces, cake, and ice cream....
Recommended by Sophie Dahl, Nigel Slater, and 2 others.

Sophie DahlIt was her warm self-deprecating lovely tone that really engaged me. I loved the way that she described food. It was just this wonderful, friendly, easy rolling-off-the-page kind of writing. (Source)

Nigel SlaterIf I could keep only one cookbook, this would be it. There’s an intelligence to the way she writes, and she expects a certain intelligence of her readers as well. (Source)

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Title: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking <>Binding: Hardcover <>Author: MarcellaHazan <>Publisher: AlfredA.Knopf less

Madhur JaffreyMarcella Hazan takes you by the hand. For example, if you are going to make a risotto she tells you what rice to buy. (Source)

Nigel SlaterIt’s not beautiful writing; I don’t read her for information; I don’t read her for a sense of place. I read Marcella Hazan purely for the way she writes her recipes…. There is no finer recipe writer. Her recipes are concise, they’re clear, they’re unfussy and she never leaves me in any doubt about what I’m supposed to be doing. (Source)

Ruth RogersWhen people come to work at the River Café as a chef we ask them if they have read this, and if they haven’t we ask them to read it. (Source)

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French Provincial Cooking

Elizabeth David's books belong in the libraries of everyone who loves to read and prepare food and this one is generally regarded as her best; her passion and knowledge comes through on every page. She was one of the foremost writers on food in the latter half of the 20th century and this book has her most celebrated writing. "French Provincial Cooking" should be approached and read as a series of short stories, as well written and evocative as the best literature. The voice is highly personal and opinionated, sometimes sharp but always true and always entertaining. Here is a long essay on... more
Recommended by Nigel Slater, Giles Coren, and 2 others.

Nigel SlaterElizabeth David’s recipes give you a sense of place: I feel as if I am in France with her. (Source)

Giles CorenShe is a very good cookery writer, trying to explain to people in austere 50s Britain how to make a petit salé or a beef bourguignon. (Source)

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The Cook's Companion

The Cook's Companion has established itself as the kitchen "bible" in more than 500,000 homes since it was first published in 1996. This 2014 revision includes two major new chapters, two expanded chapters, 70 new recipes, and a complete revision of the text to reflect changes in the marketplace and new regulations. Stephanie believes that good food is essential to living well: her book is for everyone, every day. She has invaluable information about ingredients, cooking techniques, and kitchen equipment, along with inspiration, advice, and encouragement, and close to 1,000 failsafe... more
Recommended by Nigel Slater, Bruno Loubet, and 2 others.

Nigel SlaterIt’s quite robust cooking. I tend to turn to her when I come across something that I want to know a bit more about. (Source)

Bruno LoubetThis book is a bit like a bible or a dictionary – it’s a huge book with so much information and you can go there for so much reference. (Source)

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Thai Food

Renowned chef David Thompson first went to Thailand by mistake: a holiday plan had to be changed at the last minute, and he ended up in Bangkok, where he was seduced by the people, culture, and cuisine. Since that fateful trip some 20 years ago, Thailand has become David's second home. Working alongside cooks who perfected their craft in the Thai royal palaces, he began to document the traditional recipes and culinary techniques that have been handed down from generation to generation. The result is THAI FOOD, the most comprehensive account of this ancient and exotic cuisine ever published in... more
Recommended by Nigel Slater, Ted Knutson, and 2 others.

Nigel SlaterAn important historical record of Thai cooking and an excellent recipe book. (Source)

Ted KnutsonMy sister asked me for recipes and I dug this Thai Beef salad one out that I think I stole from David Thompson's amazing Thai cook book. It has HUGE flavours (too much for my kids), but we think it's amazing. (Source)

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