How to Write a Cookbook

Gavin WrenCookbook Reviews, The World of Food

The view from Random House offices
I was recently invited to a blogger morning hosted by The Happy Foodie, a unique event held at the headquarters of Penguin Random House, home to the work of some of food writing’s greatest names including my personal hero, Mr Ottolenghi. The November sun shone across the rooftops of London, showcasing the spectacular view from the Penguin Random House offices, but there were greater treats in store for us shortly afterwards. The highlight of the show was a series of interviews with a few key authors from the Penguin Random House stable, where these food-obsessives would be talking about the journey to publishing their books. It goes without saying that the event was there to raise the profile of these authors, yet the the event taught me something else, something really important about blogging and how to write a cookbook. It showed me that if you want to…

Book Review: Cooking in Provence by Alex Mackay with Peter Knab

Gavin WrenCookbook Reviews, The World of Food

Cooking in provence by Alex Mackay book cover
Today I’m looking at the not-so-recent book “Cooking in Provence” by Alex Mackay and Peter Knab, seven years since it’s release, yet it’s a book that could have been published yesterday for all it matters, it’s content being of such timeless quality that a date is largely irrelevant. I originally bought it for a self catering holiday to, well, you’ve probably guessed it, Provence. We did a road trip through France with short stays in Beaune and Lyon to savour the food and sights on offer in those lovely towns before ultimately reaching the sun in Provence. Travelling by car allowed us to take endless frivolities that you’d never even consider trying to take on Ryanair (double inflatable lilo with drinks holders anyone?) as well as the more carefully considered essential items, such as hardback cookery books. “I think he was probably a Provençal gourmet in a former life” Raymond

Book Review – Edouard de Pomiane; Cooking in Ten Minutes

Gavin WrenCookbook Reviews, The World of Food

Edouard de Pomiane cooking in ten minutes
Ahead of the game Edouard de Pomiane was a man ahead of his time. Born in 1875 in Paris, making him almost precisely 100 years the senior to modern chefs like Jamie Oliver, he was a scientist, lecturuer, broadcaster and writer who recognised the underlying simplicity and joy that can be found in cooking and eating. In his day, there was a commonly held belief that life had developed a rushed and frenetic pace, that people no longer had time to sit back and appreciate life. Combined with the perception that French food preparation was some kind of mystical art, one that had to be undertaken by a trained professional, de Pomiane realised that someone needed to break cooking down into easily manageable periods and simplify the processes to suit their modern lifestyles. And so we have this book, which was first published in 1930 under the name ‘La Cuisine