Review: Tasting India by Christine Manfield

Tasting India by Christine Manfield Published by Conran Octopus, November 2011, £40.00 Photography by Anson Smart Combatants in the fight over e-cookery books versus printed ones have new ammunition. Or should that be heavy artillery. If you believe paper books take up too much room, you’ll no doubt point accusingly at Christine Manfield’s new book, […]

Both/And not Either/Or… Black Olive Chocolate Truffles

This weekend a brilliant new exhibition opened at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London –   Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990. I’ve written before about the challenges of teaching English literature undergraduates about postmodernism. Ask them what it is and they’re more likely to say what it isn’t. The V and A’s entrancing exhibition […]

Review: The Good Table by Valentine Warner

  Published 12th September (Mitchell Beazley, £20.00) Photographs: Jonathan Lovekin In the dreary sea of food writing cliche, where tomatoes ‘smell of sunshine’, chocolate is ‘scrummy’ and cakes are ‘moist’, Valentine Warner is a perky, plucky lifeboat. I want to eat what he’s cooked but more than that, I want to read what he’s written. […]

Remembered But Not Witnessed… Pan-Roasted Chicken With Pears, Hazelnuts And Apple Brandy

If I was to choose a flower that perfectly evokes the past, I would pick the mocked and reviled dahlia. It’s so ridiculously, frothily retro and has been out of fashion for so long. And yet doggedly and resiliently it’s hung on in the shadows, waiting for its chance to creep back onto the stage. […]

Triumphs Of Gluttony And A Melody In Major: Plum Creams With Almonds And Amaretti

Scorning the table of drinks, glittering with crystal and silver on the right, he moved left towards that of the sweetmeats. Huge sorrel babas, Mont Blancs snowy with whipped cream, cakes speckled with white almonds and green pistachio nuts, hillocks of chocolate-covered pastry… a melody in major of crystallised cherries, acid notes of yellow pineapple, […]

Posh Cheese on Toast – aka Parmesan Cream on Tomato and Olive Toast with Edible Flower Salad

Cheese on toast was a wonderful ally when I worked nights as a breakfast television reporter. The shift started at 9pm and ended at 9am… and it was brutal. Complexion, fashion sense, good temper and appetite all disappeared through the metal-framed windows of BBC Television Centre by about 3.25 each morning. Cheese on toast became […]