Slater, celebrated in Britain for his food columns in London's Observer
, recalls his childhood in great and moving detail, interweaving his hunt for oral gratification with prose portraits of his family. His mother, utterly devoted to him yet something of a kitchen klutz, could not make up for the physical abuse that burst from his conflicted father. Slater's mother's early demise and his father's remarriage to the family's cleaning woman did little to enhance the sensitive lad's self-image. What joy the boy found stemmed from occasional culinary successes out of his mother's kitchen and from an endless, stereotypically English cascade of sweets. Readers of Slater's accounts of eating out in the 1960s may come to believe that the British really invented fast food, something for which Americans generally shoulder blame. Slater's hunger for both food and human love are achingly recorded. American readers may find some of this memoir tedious and obscure since Slater obsesses over the seemingly boundless output of British candy factories, never employing a generic term when there is a regional trademarked noun at hand. Mark KnoblauchCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
* 'Nigel is a bloody genius.' Jamie Oliver * 'The greatest cookery writer of them all.' Guardian * 'The pick of the bunch ... bubbling with ideas, suggestions, hints and personal opinions that genuinely help you to make your own mind up about how and what to cook.' The Times * 'He's a genius.' Matthew Fort, Guardian * 'Slater remains the reigning champion, a writer incapable of uninspiring sentences.' Daily Express * 'No one writes more temptingly about book.' Independent * 'My kitchen god' Red
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