A Cook’s Book: The Essential Nigel Slater

Ten Speed: Crown. Mar. 2023. 512p. ISBN 9781984861696. $45. COOKING
Is Slater a cook who writes or a writer who cooks? The truth is Slater is both. From his food-centric memoir Toast, to a slate of award-winning cookbooks, to his long-running cookery column for the Observer, Slater has written elegantly and eloquently about matters culinary for more than two decades. But Slater also knows his way around a saucepan, with stints working professionally in a number of kitchens around the UK before settling down as a home cook in London. In his latest, Slater offers up more than 150 recipes—both old favorites as well as some that tread new culinary ground—all grouped in chapters with titles like “A Bowl of Soup,” “Everyday Dinners,” and “Four Chocolate Cakes.” Each chapter opens with a few paragraphs elaborating what its dishes mean to Slater, and the recipes themselves are written clearly and concisely for home cooks while still being richly imbued with the author’s distinctive brand of culinary charm.
VERDICT Slater’s warmly nourishing paean to the joys of food and cooking definitely earns its place on cook’s shelves next to other contemporary classics like Ruth Reichl’s My Kitchen Year and Nigella Lawson’s Cook, Eat, Repeat.
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