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The Kitchen Diaries: A Year in the Kitchen with Nigel Slater Hardcover – October 19, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Praise for Nigel Slater

"His writing could not be more palate-cleansing… his acidic riffs put you in mind of Nick Hornby, Martin Amis and Philip Larkin all at the same time."
The New York Times

"Nigel is a genius."
—Jamie Oliver, author of Jamie’s Kitchen, The Naked Chef, and Happy Days with the Naked Chef

"unpretentious, delicious"
—Nigella Lawson, author of How to Be a Domestic Goddess

"The recipes sound uniformly delicious, rustic and tasty...but they’re also straight forward: easy to follow, easy to cook."
—Independent on Sunday

"joyous"
—Guardian Weekend

"Slater wants his food, above all, to be uplifting. As a cookbook, The Kitchen Diaries succeeds brilliantly."
—William Leith, Observer (London)

"it's a collection of scrumptious recipes, somehow written in such a way as to make your mouth genuinely water."
—Rebecca Seal, Observer (London)

Review

'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 food.' Independent 'My kitchen god.' Red --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham Books (October 19, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592402348
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592402342
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.5 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #916,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. De Swaan on October 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a fantastic book. Not many people could write down a years worth of eating and transform it into a highly entertaining and addictive book. Nigel Slater's writing wants you to start cooking -- and the best thing about it is that many of the recipes are very approachable and highly successful. Within a week of finishing the book I had made his Pumpkin Soup twice for very appreciative eaters. The best thing about this book, and his other books is that Nigel takes a few ingredients or some left overs and transforms them into something that you wish you'd been invited over to share with him. Nigel Slater is a great voice in today's food writing.
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Format: Hardcover
A large cookbook of 390+ pages, organized in a month-by-month way, containing over 300 new recipes and speckled with wonderful food photography emphasising the use of seasonally available ingredients.

However, because of the way each month highlights the availability of particular produce within the month itself, this cookbook shows that the current attitude of "supply and demand" is perhaps not the best way to cook. Nigel says it best:

"Our culinary seasons have been blurred by commerce, and in particular by the supermarkets' much vaunted idea that consumers want all things to be available all year round...I worry that today it is all too easy to lose sight of food's natural timing and, worse, to miss it when it is at its sublime best...Right food, right place, right time - it is my belief - and the point of this book - that this is the best recipe of all."

That is not to say that 'The Kitchen Diaries' is merely a seasonal cookbook, far from it. The month by month approach makes full use of available in seasonal ingredients, while Nigel's at-home-baking knowledge guides you easily through the recipes.

Pork loin cooked with grapes, wine and seasoned with salt, pepper and juniper berries, bruised potatoes, and Nigel's simply wonderful apple cake makes for a simple, yet wonderful dinner. Easy to make and seasonal to boot.

These are meals whose success relies on the ingredients of the moment rather than the experience of the cook.

Nigel's style of cookbook writing is something you either love or hate. I like the style and find it enjoyable to just read even if I am not cooking.

The Kitchen Diaries is an excellent addition to any Nigel Slater fan and a book worth getting if you love good food you can make at home.
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Format: Hardcover
Nigel Slater has done an amazing job with The Kitchen Diaries. Writing down everything eaten for dinner for an entire year must have been a daunting task, but it makes a wonderful read - as his stories are both funny and inspiring - and it was reassuring to see that even well known cooks are not above takeout and beer every once in a while!

So far I have made probably 15 recipes ...all have been wonderful, and the hot chocolate puddings alone are worth the price of book...oh, and so is the ham with chorizo, and the Thai curry, and his fabulous bolongese, and..well you get the idea, right?

A definite 'must-have'.
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Format: Hardcover
If you know of Nigel Slaters other books you will no doubt just buy this regardless of any review as you will know what an entertaining writer he is.

If you are new to Nigel Slater then here is what I would say about this book;

If you are looking for a straight out 'recipe book' this isn't the book for you (I'd start with the excellent 'Appetite' - also by Nigel Slater). However, if you are a foodie that is inspired by reading about others inspiration and seasonal eating, then you will find this book hugely entertaining.

More a book on enjoying simple culinery pleasures than technique or presentation.

Forget such lifestyle books as 'Under the Tuscan sun' or 'A year in Provence', what you'll get out of this is a sense of place, mood, season and good living which is obtainable by all of us (in the western world) through the simple but elegant satisfaction good food can bring.
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Format: Hardcover
Nigel Slater is definitely one of the best food writers around today, his enjoyment of food - its textures, colours, tastes and aromas is inspiring and even now just thinking about the book I find my mouth watering.

He is a British writer and if you have not heard about him or his work then I strongly suggest you have a go - if you like Nigella Lawson or Jamie Oliver you will probably enjoy Slater.

In this hardback illustrated book he discusses his eating and cooking over a year. Each chapter is a month of writing and cooking - talking about food what is available and what he does with it. The start of the chapter has the month and a list of recipes he has made through the month. So you can flick through on a month by month basis, tasting the season's fruits etc, (there is also a helpful index by the way) Or you can just read it as a series of recipes in a diary like way.

The recipes are based on fresh and simple principles rather than trying to make complicated concoctions. And some of the simplest foods make the nicest things - I love his broad bean recipes (the American readers will probably know them as fava beans)and rhubarb deserts are great.

My only real issue with this book is that it is printed on a laid crean paper - which is fine for text but they also have printed the pictures in colour on it which loses a lot of the gloss and richness of the illustrations. I really enjoy good food photography - even if I never can present it to the same standard it is lovely to look at. While it is all nicely presented and printed I find it difficult to get the whole "Readers-Digest-Condensed-book" picture out of my head because that is what it looks like to me.
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