Thursday, January 31, 2013

At Elizabeth David's Table

Elizabeth David is the food writer to whom Britain owes a great deal as she is the woman who almost single-handedly changed the face of British food and cooking in a dreary post-war country. She introduced food such as paella, hummus, ratatouille, moussaka and of course olive oil, pasta, artichokes and fresh herbs. Around the world her recipes and her wonderful  writing continues to inspire even today, 60 plus years since she published her first cookery book, A Book of Mediterranean Food. 

I talked to Kathryn Ryan on Radio New Zealand this morning about At Elizabeth David’s Table which is is a collection of her best everyday recipes compiled by renowned writer/editor/publisher Jill Norman, who was David’s long-time editor at Penguin when I met her and who since 1992 has been the literary executor of her estate.

Jill Norman has carefully created a book which has 12 chapters of recipes – from starters through to sweet things – interlaced with short essays from Elizabeth David, many of which originally appeared in her books and also magazines. This appealing blend gives interest beyond the average cookbook. And of course for the first time David's recipes are accompanied by photographs.  

Praise must also go to the photographer David Loftus  The photography is in muted colours and features the earthenware pots and plain white china that Elizabeth David favoured. I am sure she would have approved.

As the owner of many many cookbooks I have to say this one has already become a great favourite and is a joy both to cook from and just to kick back and read. .
She is surely the greatest food writer of our times.

Not sure how long Radio NZ leave their interviews on-line but it is there presently if you have 10 minutes to spare and would like to hear a longer piece about this special book.

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