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The Kitchen Diaries: A Year in the Kitchen with Nigel Slater


Brought back by popular demand.  Beloved food writer Nigel Slater presents a yearlong record of his cooking and entertaining, as well as endearing culinary stories and witticisms.

Nigel Slater writes about food in a way that stimulates the imagination, the heart, and the palate all at once. The Kitchen Diaries brings an especially personal ingredient to the mix, letting us glimpse into Nigel Slater’s pantry, tour local farmers’ markets ...

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Brought back by popular demand.  Beloved food writer Nigel Slater presents a yearlong record of his cooking and entertaining, as well as endearing culinary stories and witticisms.

Nigel Slater writes about food in a way that stimulates the imagination, the heart, and the palate all at once. The Kitchen Diaries brings an especially personal ingredient to the mix, letting us glimpse into Nigel Slater’s pantry, tour local farmers’ markets with him, and savor even the simplest meals at his table.

Recording twelve months in Nigel Slater’s culinary life, The Kitchen Diaries shares seasonal dishes and the intriguing elements behind them. As someone who celebrates each visit to the cheese shop or butcher, he enthusiastically conveys the brilliant array of choices and views shopping as an adventure rather than a chore. If he feels like staying in, we spend the evening with him at his London flat, enjoying a creative combination of odds and ends from the fridge. A rainy day in February calls for a hearty stew; summertime finds him feasting on a simple lunch of baked tomatoes with grated Parmesan. No matter the season, The Kitchen Diaries offers a year-round invitation to cook and dine with the world’s most irresistible lover of food.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Few writers could get away with what London Observer columnist Slater does here: jotting down what he eats and recording recipes for the homemade items over the course of a year. Slater, though, has the writing chops to make it work as proven in his memoir Toast. His style is lazily thoughtful, but also honest and unfussy: January 9 sees a "gray, endless drizzle" that makes it "the sort of day on which to light the fire, turn on the radio and bake a cake." The recipe for Double Ginger Cake that follows, however, highlights this book's sometimes problematic Britishness when it calls for both golden syrup and stem ginger in syrup, available, a footnote claims, "in some supermarkets and specialty shops." Slater's food isn't British in the stodgy sense. Indeed, he smoothly incorporates the flavors of other cultures into his cooking to make Indian-influenced Spiced Roast Potatoes with Yogurt and Mint, for example. Yet local references and recommendations, such as a tip that the best hummus may be purchased "at the Green Valley, just off the Edgware Road," will frustrate readers in the U.S. As George Bernard Shaw once said, the British and the Americans are two peoples divided by a common language. Sadly, much of this wonderful book is lost in translation, or lack thereof. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670026418
  • Publisher: Studio
  • Publication date: 11/8/2012
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 193,955
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.58 (h) x 1.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Nigel Slater is the author of ten books, including Tender, a New York Times notable cookbook of 2011. His autobiography, Toast: The Story of a Boy’s Hunger, won six major awards, including British Biography of the Year, and was made into a full-length film. He lives in London, where he writes a highly popular column for The Observer.



Nigel Slater is the author of several classic cookbooks, including Real Fast Food and the award-winning Appetite. He has written a much-loved column for the The Observer (London) for more than a decade and has been described as a national treasure. He lives in London.

Biography courtesy of the author's official web site.

Good To Know

Some interesting outtakes from our interview with Slater:

"I put as much effort into keeping a low profile as most cookery writers do in publicizing themselves. Believe me when I say it is very hard work keeping ‘yourself to yourself,' probably harder than taking the celebrity ‘Look at me!' route."

"I suppose I am one of those people who finds even the most mundane of questions ‘too intrusive.' Though my book Toast is extraordinarily intimate, it is written about someone who seems far away, like he was a different person. It is sometimes hard to recognize that little boy -- to remember that it was actually me."

"I believe in the maxim ‘Any useless thing chucked out is gain.' I wish I knew who said it so I could say thank you to them. They changed my life."

"I hate being photographed. I hate it even more when those photographs are published. But what I hate most is being called a ‘celebrity chef.' I am not the sort of cook who dances around in front of the camera with a skillet in my hand. I just make myself something to eat at home, and if I think its good then write about it because I think others might enjoy it too. End of story."

"Traveling is not my thing because it upsets me being away from my cat. He is very old now and I worry I won't be there for him when he decides to ‘call it a day.' Sometimes I think he has a better life than me. No one ever cooks me tuna for my supper or puts a hot water bottle in my bed. And no one has ever fed me by hand when I couldn't be bothered to get out of bed. He lives like a king."

"Here are some of the little things I like: the first bite of buttered toast, old-fashioned French roses, the smell on my hands from picking tomatoes from my garden, dark chocolate flavored with cardamom, wearing high-top sneakers, Vietnamese food, black clothes, paintings by Mark Rothko, sculptures by Giacometti, green tea, watching Six Feet Under, reading Vanity Fair when I should really be doing something very urgent, dipping hot french fries into homemade garlic mayonnaise."

"Here are some of the silly little things I dislike: duvets, ties, fillet (there are so many more interesting cuts), eggs, the smell of tea with milk in it, small ‘boutique' hotels, queuing, clutter, big portions."

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    1. Hometown:
      London, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 9, 1958
    2. Place of Birth:
      Wolverhampton, England
    1. Education:
      OND in catering, Worcester Technical College, 1976
    2. Website:

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