Following on the success of Tender and Ripe, this companion to the bestselling Kitchen Diaries is a beautiful, inspiring chronicle of a year in food from beloved food writer Nigel Slater.
Britain’s foremost food writer returns with his quietly passionate, idiosyncratic musings on a year in the kitchen, alongside more than 250 simple and seasonal recipes. Based on Slater’s journal entries, Notes from the Larder is a collection of small kitchen celebrations, whether a casual supper of grilled lamb, or a quiet moment contemplating a bowl of cauliflower soup with toasted hazelnuts. Through this personal selection of recipes, Slater offers a glimpse into the daily inspiration behind his cooking and the pleasures of making food by hand, such as his thoughts on topics as various as the kitchen knife whose every nick and stain is familiar, how to make a little bit of cheese go a long way when the cupboards are bare, and his reluctance to share desserts.
We are very pleased that award winning writer and television host Nigel Slater took some time away from filming his new series and writing his next book to answer a few of our questions about his latest book Notes from the Larder.
You recently won a James Beard Award for Ripe. Does that put any pressure on the next book?
The James Beard Award was a huge honour. But awards are a great treat and not the reason I write, so no, there is no extra pressure.
You’ve mentioned you like to share recipes how do you know when a recipes is ‘ready’ for sharing?
Sharing recipes is pretty much the heart and soul of it all for me. I feel they are ready for a wider audience when a dish gets the thumbs up from those closest to me.
Where do you find your inspiration?
My inspiration comes almost entirely from my appetite. The are other triggers, be they ingredients that have caught my eye at the market or fruits and vegetables that are ripe in the garden, but it usually comes down simply to what I fancy.
Simple can, at times, be hard to do. How does a cook keep things simple and not go over the top, with unnecessary ingredients or steps?
When working on a recipe, what you leave out is often as important as what you put in. So many people think “what else does this dish need”. I tend to think “what can I take out.” Tweeting recipes to your friends and followers, the way I do, is a good way to streamline a recipe.
Do you keep your recipes and directions simple as to allow the home to use their own instincts to crate a dish that is their own?
I tend to keep a recipe quite bare and simple, allowing the cook to add their own touches of inspiration and making the dish their own. Very few of my recipes are strict formulas, nothing gives me greater pleasure than to see how a cook has taken the ball and run with it.
Do you grow many of the ingredients in your own garden?
I only have a small garden, but I squeeze as much possible into it. So much so, that this year I have chosen to let it rest. I will start planting again in the spring.
Next is more television and a little book of short, quick recipes for everyday called Eat. The recipes have a unique and original format and are presented in as a plump, cloth-bound notebook.
Booksaboutfood.com © 2013
“Few cooks describe flavors better, or with more charm.”
—Wall Street Journal
“Not only is Nigel Slater one of the greatest living food writers, he’s also the ultimate urban gardener.”