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71 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous and wonderful! Better than the TV series!
A truly exceptional effort from Mr. Slater and his publishers. The book is gorgeously bound and an absolute delight to hold and to read. Illustrated with inspiring photographs as we have come to expect from Nigel's books. But Tender Vol.1 is certainly not all style and no substance. I found The Kitchen Diaries to be a bit of a disappointment - great as a personal...
Published on 28 Sept. 2009 by Schnack

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27 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kitchen Diaries
No question, Nigel Slater is the best cookery writer of this century (so far) Nobody on either side of the Atlantic can hold a candle to him --- at his best. Can't say the same about his television appearances, but that's a different discussion.

My husband bought me this fetching book from Waitrose, while we were house hunting in Devon. It is a handsome,...
Published on 11 Mar. 2010 by Marsha Coupe


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A joy to read, 17 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Tender: Volume I, A cook and his vegetable patch (Hardcover)
As is the way with Nigel Slater's books, they are a joy to read - even if you don't intend to make any of his recipes! I defy anyone, however, not to be inspired or encouraged not only to cook these uncomplicated dishes, but to grow their own ingredients. I read cookery books like 'normal' people read novels, so this is the perfect book for me as it is a combination of enjoyable text, superb, yet realistic, photography - from garden to kitchen.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius that is Nigel Slater, 16 Oct. 2009
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This review is from: Tender: Volume I, A cook and his vegetable patch (Hardcover)
I bought this book as a present, I'm about to purchase another for myself! I have a veg box delivered most weeks and some weeks I'm a bit stumped for ideas, not after reading this book, it even makes aubergines look exciting, cannot wait to try the feta and mint recipe to accompany it. The book goes from the garden to the kitchen table and the majority of the recipes are not expensive, nor do they require fancy ingredients, just good old fashioned veg. Nigel writes so eloquently and has such a depth and understanding of food. I have watched "Simple Suppers" and have been inspired by his cooking, it's not often that you get a "gimmick" free chef, who just has a deep love of food. This book is going to sit in my kitchen for a very long time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lush, 6 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Tender: Volume I, A cook and his vegetable patch (Hardcover)
“Tender” Volumes 1 & 2 by Nigel Slater
I received these sister books for Charismas this year and spent some pleasant hours reading through both of them. Because the general comments I have to make pertain to both volumes I will post this review twice, under each volume.

“Tender” deals with the use of vegetables and fruit in the kitchen, some of which Nigel has grown in his own garden. They’re not really gardening books, though Nigel discusses his garden, but most definitely are cookery books with some very luscious recipes to inspire one to both grow food, and to use that food in the kitchen. They are “coffee table books” rather than “kitchen table books” in that they inspire and engage enthusiasm rather than being straight “How To” recipe books. They also seem too “posh” to risk making mucky in the kitchen. They are the sorts of books which provoke garden-longings and culinary adventures where the cook will find his or her own way based on the inspiration between the pages. I rarely follow recipes slavishly, being somewhat maverick in the kitchen, so this sort of approach suits my psyche. I will try some of the recipes, but I will probably adjust them to suit the produce I have available at the time. The recipes in these books strike me as lending themselves to this sort of cavalier treatment.

Volume 1 deals with a short introduction to Nigel Slater’s garden and an A to Z of vegetables, Volume 2 deals with an introduction to the fruit in his garden, and then an A to Z of fruit. Both books are weighty two inch thick tomes and appear to cover the majority of fruit and vegetables which can be grown in the UK climate and which have been either home grown, purchased from farm shops, foraged, or from friends. Every entry seems to be based on Nigel’s own wisdom and this, to me, is important in such a book. I want that personal experience, not some reiterated conglomeration of information gleaned from the work of others or “common knowledge”.

Each A to Z entry has an introduction to the fruit or the vegetable, some remarks about their garden-worthiness, then some remarks about their use in the kitchen, and recipes.

The photographs leave me in two minds. Not all the recipes are illustrated, but those which are, are accompanied by well composed and luscious photographs. Those images alone are enough to inspire and make me want to cook the dishes. Something as simple as a photograph of elderflower fritters looks yummy. But some of the photographs seem to be self-indulgent “mood” photographs. And this mood seems gloomy, earthy, almost furtive and frankly under-exposed. Now I ought to like this, tending towards the same myself, disliking over-brightened garish photos, but I’m not sure that I do. For example, p 24 Vol 1, there is a photo of pots of courgette plans, and that seems underexposed, lacking in sunshine and uninspiring. P 30, in the asparagus section, there is a photo of backlit sweet peas. The flowers are the main focus of this photograph, the rest of it fading to dark colours, so the photo is really “about” the sweet peas, an arty-f**ty style of photograph which bears no relation to the topic in hand. Sometimes the depth of field annoys me, because there are out-of-focus blurs to the front pulling my eye away from the subject, for example, a courgette flower p 266. I gather from the text that Nigel Slater is an earthy-mood sort of man, and so these photos do convey that emotion quite well, but some of the photos just didn’t inspire me. But that’s just personal taste, not a matter of quality.

Another bugbear I have with the photos is that there is a thumbnail at the start of each subject – a great idea, except that the thumbnail often bears no relation to the subject. For example, the thumbnail for Peppers is nasturtium flowers. The colour tones quite well with the facing rather good full page photo of peppers in varying degrees of ripeness, but what’s wrong with having a photo of peppers growing on the plant itself as a thumbnail? Another example is a viola thumbnail for spinach, yet for Jerusalem artichoke, the thumbnail is the Jerusalem artichoke flower, and for onions, there’s an onion flower. There’s a rose thumbnail for plums and for redcurrants, yet quince blossom for quince flowers. It seems to lack logic, could be misleading, and it’s almost as if Mr Slater lacked a suitable photo for some thumbnails and shoved any old photo in instead, so long as it looked good.

Niggles. I found the peculiar font for “ct” rather distracting. The other major niggle is the indices. There is an index at the end of each volume, but the one at the end of volume one is scant and confusing. I used it to try to look up artichoke soup, but failed to find it. However, artichoke soup was listed in the Volume 2 (Fruit volume) index, which looks like the main index to me. I feel the main index would have been better divided between each volume appropriately, perhaps losing a couple of the irrelevant mood photos, such as the sweet peas, the dahlia and one or two of the frozen brassica photos, to accommodate them, if pages were short.

None of the niggles were enough to lose a star over, so I give this five stars and I’m delighted to have received it for Xmas.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cook and his veg patch, 2 April 2011
By 
Marand - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Tender: Volume I, A cook and his vegetable patch (Hardcover)
This is the story of a cook and his (very small) London garden. He isn't and doesn't aim to be self sufficient but derives pleasure from growing some of his own produce, organically, of course. His garden looks beautiful too - veg beds surrounded by box edging. I love that he says that if he were doing it again he would opt for raised beds rather than box which has acted as a sanctuary for slugs and snails! I like too that he won't rip up the box because of "the achingly beautiful sight of them covered in snow". He also suffers from the predations of urban foxes but again has a soft spot for them, even when they have squashed his newly-germinated carrots.

The book, two inches thick, follows an alphabetical journey through the veg garden, each chapter including a few comments or tips about growing, suggested seed varieties and a group of recipes. A final chapter picks up the 'odds and sods'. To give you a flavour of the recipes here is a selection: pilaf of asparagus, broad beans & mint; warm asparagus with melted cheese; hot aubergine with melting cheese; roast aubergines, chillies & thyme; baked aubergines with thyme & cream; chocolate beetroot cake (not tried this but sounds interesting); pasta with sprouting broccoli & cream; quick cabbage supper with duck legs; gratin of white cabbage, cheese & mustard; carrot & coriander fritters; carrot & tomato chutney; steamed pork in aromatic broth with celeriac puree; slow-baked celeriac & parsnips; baked celery; squid with greens & basil; spiced carrot & courgette fritters; Jerusalem artichokes with walnut oil & lemon; leek & cheese mash; chicken with leeks & lemon; roast lamb, couscous & red onion; baked onion with porcini & cream; rich root & cheese soup; baked parsnips with cheese; salad of beans, peas & pecorino; potatoes, crème fraiche & dill; baked potatoes, leeks & fontina; pumpkin pangrattato with rosemary & orange; chick peas with pumpkin, lemongrass & coriander; lettuce & pea soup; salmon, steamed spinach & lemon salad; swede & cheese pasty; roast tomato salad; slow-roasted tomatoes with thyme & mozzarella; soup of tomatoes & crab.

As ever, the recipes are simple & straightforward, no complicated techniques or fiddly preparation, just fresh ingredients cooked simply.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A feast for the eyes... and the palate if you can drag yourself away from reading it!, 14 May 2010
By 
D. Stark "Donna Stark" (Northumberland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tender: Volume I, A cook and his vegetable patch (Hardcover)
Tender is essentially food porn. Seriously.

The way Nigel Slater writes could turn the most fussy eater into a glutton. The words drip off the page the way butter runs down hot asparagus spears and makes you want to eat and eat and eat.

The recipes are simple and it's divided alphabetically by the vegetable. Each section has a little blurb about that vegetable in the garden (how to grow it), in the kitchen (how to cook it), it's best seasonings (what to pair it with) and a few recipes where it is the star. I haven't finished reading this book - I'm only up to parsnips so can only base it on recipes I've tried - but I know that this is one book I will refer to time and time again.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astoundingly good!, 15 Sept. 2009
By 
C. Gardner "Foodie gardener" (Cheltenham, Glos, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tender: Volume I, A cook and his vegetable patch (Hardcover)
I have a copy of every Nigel Slater book, all of which I love and use constantly, but 'Tender' surpasses them all. I only received it 14 hours ago but I have read every word of the first half of it and it is an absolute treat for all cooks, gardeners, food lovers, and anyone who loves the written word. What more can I say? Buy it immediately and relish every element for yourself. It certainly deserves to be a best-seller and I'm sure it will be much-loved by everyone who reads it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best, 1 Dec. 2009
By 
S. J. Mathews (Axminster Devon UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tender: Volume I, A cook and his vegetable patch (Hardcover)
I received Nigel's new book quite recently; he has a 'different' approach from the 'run of the mill' cook books. he inspires you to create georgeous vegetable dishes, simple, but easily obtainable, cheaply, and in a matter of a few minutes; then to savour and share their delight with friends.
He creates an atmosphere for real food, his environment and passionate feeling for his sublject.
The book is a masive tome, not for holding in one hand, whilst stirring with another.
It's a book to sit down with, relax and enjoy.
I'm looking forward very much to buying Nigel's second volume, when it is published early next year, concerning fruit cokery, growing fruit, and much more information about the subject in general, which has made his first part, on vegetables, so absorbing.
Sheila. Axminster.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous photos, gorgeous prose, 15 Mar. 2010
By 
Dorothysay "sherlocklives" (chicago IL) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tender: Volume I, A cook and his vegetable patch (Hardcover)
Nigel Slater strikes again, this time with probably his most beautiful cookery book. The photographs are simply stunning, and on soft, matte paper that looks like linen. He begins with a history of his own small garden, showing the average homeowner how they can do this with some creativity in little space. Opinionated, passionate about vegetables, and deeply informed, Slater makes one want to grow and eat more things that are good for us. The prose as ever is intelligent and beautiful, and the recipes are lush and mouth-watering. I dare you to pick up this book and not want to start prowling your local market's produce section immediately.
Thank you Mr. Slater! The nanosecond vol. 2 comes out, I'm there.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tender, 17 Oct. 2009
By 
Frances Brogden (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tender: Volume I, A cook and his vegetable patch (Hardcover)
WEll the first thing I had to do was stroke the cover, delicious, as ever lovely print. NIgel's writing makes you want to get planting and cooking straight away, lots of marvellous new ways to serve our humble veg, I haven't finished it yet as I'm reading it like a novel, but would highly recommend it. Nigel writes for people who enjoy cooking.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb cookbook, 25 Oct. 2009
By 
P. Hancock - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tender: Volume I, A cook and his vegetable patch (Hardcover)
This is one of the best cookery books we have purchased in over 40 years, of our married lives.
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Tender: Volume I, A cook and his vegetable patch
Tender: Volume I, A cook and his vegetable patch by Nigel Slater (Hardcover - 17 Sept. 2009)
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