There's no-one quite like Nigel. His books are works of literature with the recipes presented as an integral part of his day to day life. Never prescriptive like other food writers, he has the knack of making the reader feel as if they are in the company of a kindred spirit. Like the rest of us, the daily meal is often a case of what he can summon up from the ingredients already present in his fridge or store cupboard. There is no pretentious demanding that we source obscure foodstuffs or equipment (no 'sous vide' cuisine here). This is cooking as we know it but with an inherent sense of what taste marries best with another, using tried and tested methods. It's rather like discovering that your grandmother, the best cook you've ever known, who could perform miracles with a cheap cut of meat and some lumpy fresh veg, actually did write down all her best recipes. However, in the writing, Grandma has added a huge dash of flair that you never dreamt she was capable of.
Nigel, of course, is very UNlike Grandma in most ways; his recipes are comfortable, reassuring and straightforward, but different enough to inspire the most reluctant cooks into believing that they can achieve something excellent in the kitchen. Perhaps more than anything else, Mr Slater understands the vagaries of human moods and the way in which food can make a good time even better or can soothe away the worst of a miserable day.. In either case, the food is never less than memorable and above all, achievable!
To the best of my knowledge I now have every cookbook he's written, as well as his autobiography and 'observational'
writings on fondly remembered foods of his earlier years. As well as mood, Nigel understands how food can impinge in a major way on memory and how taste and smell can transport us back through time in an instant. Long may he keep on cooking and writing,. No-one understands better how central food is to a life well lived!