Two questions for all you Nigel Slater fans out there (just to start up the discussion).
1. Why do you like Nigel Slater so much?
2. What is your favorite cookbook of his and why?
1. The lovely thing about Nigel is that he really loves food and is not willing to compromise on taste (especially if the taste is supposed to be creamy). All of his books say, everywhere, "I really loved this, it's delicious, why don't you make it?". I like little touches like him saying "I will not have margarine in my house".
2. It's got to be The 30-minute Cook, although Real Cooking was a very close second. There are some really brilliant recipes in there, for instance the Pasta with Sardines is both totally different from everything else you make and totally simple to prepare. It really shows that cooking quickly does not have to mean compromising on quality.
Good post Wester!
Why I like Nigel is because his recipes are the type of food I like to eat. That is the crux of it. No matter how good a cookbook is, if it doesn't make me salivate then I'm not going to cook the recipes. And his recipes all work. I like his chat - I also like the fact that he has strong opinions though is also warm and friendly in his cookbooks. So I was disappointed that in his little book Eating for England he comes across as a bit of a grumpy old man.
I can't choose a favorite book as I use them all though probably the one I use most is Appetite. I would like to use Kitchen Diaries more but somehow haven't yet.
I enjoy Nigel Slater's lyrical and evocative writing because it often just transports me to his kitchen and to his table. I feel I could just jump in and lend a hand with chopping the onions or whatever food prep is going on.
His conversational style adds a sense of true approachability to his recipes and ideas.
A couple of years ago, I was involved in a cooking/cookbook project in which the partipants cooked from Kitchen Diaries whilst keeping a diary of our own for about 5 months. It was a lot of fun and I felt I came to know Nigel personally. One of the standout recipes for me was Mushroom Lasagne - delicious and simple - which seems to demonstrate Nigel's whole approach to food.
Nigel's writing, both in his column in the Guardian http://www.guardian.co.u...sauce-recipe-nigel-slater and in his books is humorous, inviting and always interesting; leaving the reader wanting more.
I think Tender is going to become my next favourite.
Thanks for posting the link to his column! I just bookmarked it. I have a couple of his books on my (insanely long) wish list...
Nigel not only knows his tucker, and how to get the best out of an ingredient in a very simple way, it's his turn of phrase that makes him feel like he's talking directly to you. The man is just so damn endearing.
As a result of Kitchen Diaries, I wanted to document what we ate, who with, and how it was. An homage to Nigel if you like. So I started a blog, and had my very own Kitchen Diary for a year. Each book he produces immediately becomes the best one, with Tender being no exception. As a person who's in the process of digging up her lawn and creating a veg garden, his trials provide sound advice.
At the risk of sounding crude, any man who can start a sentence about eggplant (or aubergine -- hmm, how does EYB handle that?) with the phrase "The big purple shlong we know so well..." and get away with it, deserves to be cherised. There is something quintessentially English about his writing that feels like you're having a conversation with him. None of recipes are complicated, and there is room for adaptation if necessary. A less effusive, more thoughtful version of Jamie, perhaps. Not that there's anything wrong with Jamie.
If you're not a gardener as well as a cook, I'd recommend Kitchen Diaries. If you garden as well, grab Tender, and curl up with it through the winter months. But whichever one you choose, make Nige your friend.
I love Nigel Slater, because he is a COOK not a Chef, big difference! Plus he grows his own fruit and vegetables, and cooks for taste not to create a designer mini meal for an award!
I understand Nigel is about to launch Kitchen Diaries II which I'll be adding to the top of my wish list. I loved Kitchen Diaries I and several of my still-favourite winter recipes are from it.
There were a a couple of special edition previews in The Guardian - Kitchen Diaries II
Not sure exactly when it'll be released.
It is released already, here in the UK. I flicked through it yesterday. Looks good, it will be on my Christmas wish list (if I can wait that long, that is!!)