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The Kitchen Diaries: A Year in the Kitchen [Paperback]

Nigel Slater
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 April 2007

Following the success of ‘Real Food’ and ‘Appetite’, this is the tenth book from Nigel Slater, the award-winning food writer and author of the bestselling autobiography, ‘Toast’.

‘The food in “The Kitchen Diaries” is simply what I eat at home. The stuff I make for myself, for friends and family, for visitors and for parties, for Sunday lunch and for snacks. These are meals I make when I stop work, or when I am having mates over or when I want to surprise, seduce or show off. This is what I cook when I’m feeling energetic, lazy, hungry or late. It is what I eat when I’m not phoning out for pizza or going for a curry. This is the food that makes up my life, both the Monday to Friday stuff and that for weekends and special occasions.’

‘Much of it is what you might call fast food, because I still believe that life is too short to spend all day at the stove, but some of it is unapologetically long, slow cooking. But without exception every single recipe in this book is a doddle to cook. A walk in the park. A piece of p***.’

‘Fast food, slow food, big eats, little eats, quick pasta suppers, family roasts and even Christmas lunch. It is simply my stuff, what I cook and eat, every day. Nigel’s food – for you.’

Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (2 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007241151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007241156
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nigel Slater is one of Britain's most highly regarded food writers. His beautifully written prose, warm personality and unpretentious, easy-to-follow recipes have won him a huge following. He writes an award winning weekly column in the 'Observer' and edits their 'Food Monthly' supplement, and he is a regular contributor to Sainsbury's 'The Magazine'.

Product Description


'Nigel is a bloody genius.' Jamie Oliver

'The greatest cookery writer of them all.' Guardian

'The pick of the bunch…bubbling with ideas, suggestions, hints and personal opinions that genuinely help you to make your own mind up about how and what to cook.' The Times

'He's a genius.' Matthew Fort, Guardian

‘Slater remains the reigning champion, a writer incapable of uninspiring sentences.' Daily Express

‘No one writes more temptingly about food.' Independent

'My kitchen god.' Red

About the Author

Nigel Slater is the author of a collection of bestselling books and presenter of BBC 1's Simple Cooking. He has been food columnist for The Observer for twenty years. His books include the classics Appetite and The Kitchen Diaries and the critically acclaimed two-volume Tender. His award winning memoir Toast – the Story of a Boy's Hunger won six major awards and is now a BBC film starring Helena Bonham Carter and Freddie Highmore. His writing has won the National Book Awards, the Glenfiddich Trophy, the André Simon Memorial Prize and the British Biography of the Year. He was the winner of a Guild of Food Writers' Award for his BBC 1 series Simple Suppers.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
153 of 156 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous! 5 Oct 2005
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I think this might well be Mr Slater's best book. Not only are the recipes wonderful but the book is a pleasure to read. Slater has the knack of being able to make one's mouth water just by reading a recipe and his directions are easy and precise where they need to be. In addition, the book itself is beautiful with a cloth spine, expensive-feeling paper and the photography is luscious. It would make a wonderful gift for a foodie. A must have!
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181 of 188 people found the following review helpful
By kymara VINE VOICE
I'd like to add a review for those of you who are already familiar with Nigel Slater, perhaps own some of his books and wondering if this is 'different' enough from the others to buy. I was in that situation and bought it anyway and I'd like to reassure you that it is well worth it.
The recipes are wonderful - they retain his usual style of home-cooking combining comfort with flair - and there are many new ones in there which inspire me, even though I've already tried many of his other recipes.
The chronological postings are a significant difference from previous books, and a great idea. Just now I can flick through recipes from March, say, which reflect the current weather and available foods. For Valentines day I actually followed both his recipe suggestions from that day, and wonderful they were too. In particular if you're looking for a book with gentle ideas concerning a full menu, this does just that, as on days when Nigel's entertaining (or just greedy!), he'll cook two or three courses, and these give you an instant idea of what goes with what.
Another great aspect is that it combines structured recipes with fragments or ideas of a meal or snack - similar to some of the 'Ideas' in 'Real Fast Food.' So some day's entries have a recipe with full instructions, others are more along the lines of 'I forgot to buy anything for dinner - bag of chips with a beer tonight, then.' This is one of the things which for me makes it great bedtime reading, if perhaps a little heavy to hold up!
In conclusion, Nigel's presented us a new set of recipes, different enough from his old ones to make the book worth buying, but with the same qualities. The day-to-day friendliness of the diary format also has a purpose, which is that you can easily find a menu to fit the current season.
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68 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous 13 Oct 2005
You could read this simply as a "non-cookery" book such is Nigel's writing. Once again, he has the knack more than any other food writing I know of getting you hungry! Certainly confirms him as my favourite food writer. This will always be a great one to dig into to find out what might be in season throughout the year.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Diaries are personal, often intimate, evocative and absorbing. Nigel Slaters book is all of these and more. Much more than a cookery book this takes us on an intimate journey through the year covering the the ordinary mundane daily requirements of preparing food for ourselves and others but also sparkling with ideas and innovation. The food descriptions are central but alongside runs a dialogue between the author and the the reader who grow to share not only a love of food but also an understanding of culinary needs that are ever changing with the seasons and with personal moods. This is not a glossy super-chef offering of gaudy 'impressive' and flamboyant cookong. It is an insight into the man, his life, his beliefs about food and cooking. A real triumph!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Genius. My kind of cook. 28 Nov 2012
By Valerie J. TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've just bought Kitchen Diaries (2005) and Kitchen Diaries II (2012). Nigel Slater is my kind of cook as his recipes are straight-forward, easy to understand, and generally use ingredients that are either already in our cupboards, fridges and freezers, or readily available to most of us. I suppose I fell in love with Nigel's cookery skills by watching his television programmes. He has such a relaxed way about him, such an ordinary way of speaking to the viewer, such a no-nonsense approach to cooking, that he convinced me absolutely that 'I can do that'. Which actually remains to be seen, of course. His Kitchen Diaries are like that. They are far more than just recipe books. They are, as they state, diaries. The narrative from the author, Nigel Slater, is almost poetic with descriptions of his garden, the plants, the weather, the shops that he frequents, the produce that he so loves. You can sit and happily read these books as if they were simply delightful novels that paint vivid pictures with words. They are treasures to be cherished. Really.

As sometimes is the case with writers publishing a second book, the recipes are not, in this case, a repetition of the first book with a few changes and really just ripping off the buyer. The paper quality is very good in both books, as are the plentiful coloured photographs (by Jonathan Lovekin) of the dishes. There is not, however, one photograph per recipe which might disappoint some but this doesn't really matter to me as Nigel's instructions are so very clear and there are so many recipes to enjoy that I don't think it would have been feasible to have a photo for each one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this book!
Published 5 days ago by Suzie Gardner
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book
Published 15 days ago by IAN WALKER
5.0 out of 5 stars The Kitchen Diaries
The Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater are a wonderful read but added to that they are full of wonderful seasonal recipes.
Published 1 month ago by Donna
5.0 out of 5 stars Just my sort of food
Great imaginative recipes and excellent use of food combinations. I have enjoyed watching all of Nigel's programmes on the television.
Published 2 months ago by Rosemary Clarke-Barkes
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and Practical
I bought this book after being impressed by Nigel on t.v and wasn't disappointed. I've now tried four of his recipes and found them rewarding in the ease with which I could... Read more
Published 3 months ago by mike samuels
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful cook book
Glad to get this as I already have the companion volume.
Will give me pleasure and inspiration for years.
Nigel Slater up there with Delia!
Excellent condition.
Published 3 months ago by bernadette watts
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best cookbooks
i would recommend this book to anyone. it's beautifully put together, one of those books you must keep for many years, decades... Read more
Published 3 months ago by CFF Carneiro
5.0 out of 5 stars Another gem from Nigel Slater!
Absolutely delighted! I love everything about this book, the recipes, layout and the photographs. A joy to own!!
Thank you Nigel
Published 3 months ago by MRS BARBARA S MITCHELL
5.0 out of 5 stars another great book
This man never fails to produce a wonderful read and great recipes. This was bought as a present and was warmly received.
Published 3 months ago by Mrs Rosalind Matthews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great recipes
Some really good useful everyday recipes and ideas. Now on my kitchen shelf amongst my favourites. I try them on my family.
Published 3 months ago by mrs middleman
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