We pick our cookbook of the week, plus reviews and favourite recipes.
Claudia Roden shot for OFM at her home in north london
28 February 2017

Coming Back to Claudia


Christopher Hirst reports on his joyful rediscovery of Claudia Roden’s Food of Italy… A few weeks ago, a friend brought us the welcome present of half a pound of white crabmeat from Guernsey. Very nice – but it was Christmas so this treat disappeared into the freezer. Coming across it by chance, I realised there […]

20 December 2016

Christmas Cook Books Part 2


The eccentric, the weird and the wonderful… by Christopher Hirst The huge popularity of cookbooks means that rather unusual approaches can appear on the market. Often they can provide more satisfaction than more conventional works. The second part of Bread & Oyster’s 2016 round-up includes Aussie fish, British puds, Israeli bread and Swedish campfires. River […]

5 December 2016

The Cook Book Season


The Most Tempting Cook Books of 2016 reviewed by Christopher Hirst From a good crop, I found myself most tempted by the Fortnum & Mason Cook Book. Snack followed snack in greedy profusion. It looks great as well. How did F&M manage to combine humour with luxury in its promotional material over the years?  Anyone […]

1 September 2016

Not quite a topping guide…


After chewing his way through ‘the experts’ guide to the best pizza places in the world’, Christopher Hirst is still hungry for information At first sight, Where To Eat Pizza edited by Daniel Young looks an impressive effort. Designed like an old-fashioned street directory and running to 576 pages, it claims to be a ‘comprehensive […]

British Summertime Stack whole
24 August 2016

Stirring Slowly by Georgina Hayden


Like an army of benign invaders, the UK food scene is rapidly being taken over by Jamie Oliver protégées. Latest amongst the Oliver cohorts is Georgina Hayden, a member of his food team who works as a cook, food writer and stylist. This, her first book (‘A new modern classic – a simply stunning cookbook’, […]

9 August 2016

Flavour by Ruby Tandoh


  Notorious on Bake-Off and a subsequent powerhouse off it, Ruby Tandoh (aged 24) has already produced a book and a slew of cookery columns for Elle magazine and Guardian Cook. Her second book, sub-titled Eat What You Love is a plea to follow your instincts when it comes to food, and is organized by […]

19 July 2016

Feeding Friends by Terry and George


Fun-loving child of an incongruous union between an ex-chef and a male-model, Feeding Friends is a collection of 100 recipes designed for entertaining. Terry learned his trade at Gavroche while George, who had founded the band One Night Only, aged 12, pounded the Burberry cat walks. A chance encounter led to a series of pop-up […]

Polska_Day4_ 80
14 July 2016

Polska, new Polish cooking by Zuza Zak


  For a start, this is a beautiful book, jacketed in red and white cut-out pictures of fruit and flowers, bird and fishes – it looks like a piece of middle-eastern embroidery. Inside, it’s filled with gorgeous photographs of Polish life and food. It’s written by Zuza Zak, a Polish TV producer and food blogger […]

Thrice cooked pork loin
1 July 2016

Low and Slow, How to Cook Meat by Neil Rankin


  ‘If you’ve ever cooked a steak medium-well instead of medium-rare, a chicken that ends up dry and tasteless, a stew that’s stringy or a rack of ribs that’s fallen off the bone… then this is the book that will make your life that little bit better…’ Thus Neil Rankin, a major player in London’s […]

197 chicken milk
25 June 2016

The Kitchen Shelf by Eve O’Sullivan & Rosie Reynolds


Rather like the cost-per-wear fashion theory that inspired the idea of single, relatively expensive food items that made three of four different meals, the authors of The Kitchen Shelf have also used a fashion analogy to explain a culinary thesis. Theirs is the notion of a capsule wardrobe – if you have a basic, perfectly […]

24 April 2016

It’s All Easy by Gwyneth Paltrow


Bite back the words, yes, it’s all easy if … you’re a multi-millionaire with a rock-star ex, and approach this book with open-minded, Zen-like calm. Although she’s been much derided for her use of ingredients costing the monthly salaries of several British nurses, Ms Paltrow, with her ‘cohort’ Thea Baumann, does have some interesting, even […]

22 April 2016

Around the World in Salads by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi


The Caldesis run restaurants, a cookery school and have produced several cookbooks. This latest focuses on salad – not the limp variety featuring mild combinations of lettuce, cucumber and tomato, but vibrant leafy, fruit and veg feasts. Inspiration for the project came when Giancarlo was diagnosed as diabetic and gluten intolerant and ‘we had to […]

19 April 2016

Real Food Projects by Kate Walsh


Aka the ‘stirrer’ in her native Sydney, Kate Walsh is a trenchant advocate for the slow and real food movements. She believes that the best way to change people’s attitudes to food is to send them back to the kitchen – hence this book. Real Food Projects contains 30 different kitchen skills – ranging from […]

17 April 2016

Ducksoup Cookbook by Clare Lattin and Tom Hill


Duck Soup, a tiny slice of space located, with comedic precision, barely five steps along from the Groucho Club in Soho, is the kind of neighbourhood restaurant one yearns to find while on holiday, but never does. And here it is, bang in the middle of London. It’s so small that there’s a considerable danger […]