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The Kitchen Diaries

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  1,928 Ratings  ·  103 Reviews
Right food, right place, right time. It is my beliefand the point of this bookthat this is the best recipe of all. A crab sandwich by the sea on a June afternoon; a slice of roast goose with apple sauce and roast potatoes on Christmas Day; hot sausages and a chunk of roast pumpkin on a frost-sparkling night in November. These are meals whose success relies not on the exper ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published 2005 by Fourth Estate
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The title does not lie: this really is a culinary diary and not a cookbook. There is an entry for every day of the year: always food-related but sometimes merely about shopping for food, or what's growing in his garden, or what he bought and ate. Only occasionally are actual recipes spelled out in a way that can be reproduced. More often, a dish is described sufficiently that a reasonably experienced cook could figure out how to make something similar -- if she could find the ingredients.

Jan 31, 2008 Tamara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Beware: this is possibly the longest review I've ever written of a book I have only skimmed.

Three things I disliked about this book:

1. I had a very hard time convincing myself to “read” a cookbook. I usually skim. But when I skimmed I missed things!
2.I hate it when authors live in much more advanced, metropolitan areas and think that it’s easy to find 10 farmer’s markets “on the way home.” This just makes me jealous.
3. I find it suspect that someone would keep an ingredient such as rhubarb “
Sheena Lambert
Feb 03, 2013 Sheena Lambert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookery-books
Another great book by Nigel Slater. This time he cooks his way through the calendar year. As with APPETITE (his other book I own) this book reads as well as any novel, and introduces its recipes like anecdotes. I love being able to refer to the date (or month anyway) I am myself cooking in to see what might be a suitable recipe/shopping list for the day's dinner.
My one gripe with the format of the book, is that Nigel comes across as a little annoying insofar as all he seems to spend his day doin
Dec 31, 2007 Shimelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this slowly and surely over 2007 and it has been such a life-altering experience. We live without television, so I couldn't tell you the first thing about Slater being a TV chef. We received Appetite as a gift a few years ago and fell in love with the simplicity of his recipes. Our favourite dish is from that book and it requires three ingredients, yet I guarantee it wouldn't be out of place with a high price tag at a good restaurant. So last year I picked up The Kitchen Diaries as a Chri ...more
Nov 26, 2010 Garry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lively read. Nigel Simpson writes "recipes" in the style of Elizabeth David. He does not number every little step and he is not always super precise in his measurements - "a good handful," "a glass of," and the like appearing more often than, say, "one and a half teaspoons" -- and employing lively, evocative descriptors like "enthusiastic boil" over traditional cookbookspeak. What is most interesting are the days when he confronts leftovers or seeks inspiration from what is on hand in his hous ...more
Sep 07, 2014 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food, 2014-challenge
Very interesting read.

Didn't find any recipes that inspired me, but I very much enjoyed what was, essentially, Nigel's food diary.

Lusciously illustrated and a superb way to while away a few hours.
Jan 11, 2016 Valerie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-non-fic
I've got a confession to make. I'm in love with Nigel Slater's cooking and his recipes and he could come to my home and be my kitchen slave forever. Needless to say, despite ogling his dishes on the television, I bought his books. Well, I bought two: The Kitchen Diaries: A Year in the Kitchen (2005) and The Kitchen Diaries 2 (2012). Not only are they filled with great recipes but, importantly to me, the text in between the recipes is engagingly descriptive and effortlessly witty.

Nigel Slater is
Mar 24, 2010 Philippa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2010
So many of my foodie friends talked about this book and now I know why. It is quite possibly the best cookbook I've ever read. Inviting, sumptuous, but never prentious, Nigel Slater talks us through a year of meals he cooks and eats, tantalising with delicious details. He eats seasonally, so each month reflects the best of what is naturally available at that time of year, which is the ideal way to cook and enjoy food. As well as recipes, there are just loads of great ideas - things to pull toget ...more
Feb 29, 2008 Hallie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Warning: this book will fill you with longing for Nigel or his boyfriend's life. Every single day is documented. After a day spent making homemade flatbread and taramasalata, he writes "In my smug haze of good house-keeping from yesterday's baking session, not to mention my arch disdain for factory produced foods, I fail to notice there is bugger all to eat in the house. At seven-thirty I dash to the corner shop, returning with a can of baked beans, a bag of frozen fries, and some beers." See, n ...more
Kelly Deriemaeker
Jan 02, 2016 Kelly Deriemaeker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zeer fijn boek dat me zin gaf om te koken en boerenmarkten te bezoeken zoals Nigel doet. En de seizoenen wat beter te volgen zodat ik eet wat ik op dit moment hoor te eten. Ik ga zeker wat van zijn recepten proberen de komende weken. Inspirerend!
Jun 16, 2007 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lauren
Shelves: non-fiction
This month-by-month cookbook/memoir is the star British chef's diary of a year and what he really eats at home. If guests come over, it might be a roast with all the trimmings and a fabulous dessert. But if it's just him-and maybe his partner, whose presence is strongly felt but never named explicitly-it's a number of the kitchen meals we might do, described in an evocative way: a cold sausage from the fridge, perfect strawberries and cream. He writes about frustrations he finds in his weekly "o ...more
Jun 11, 2016 Leigh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is absolutely delicious. I got my copy at the library but it is one that I would like to own since the recipes are broken up into months and can be referred back to depending on what is in season and in abundance. I love books that help to put us back in touch with our food source.
This is such a lovely, atmospheric read- makes you want to run into the kitchen and start cooking ;)

Edit Aug '12- The wonderful news that a second Kitchen Diaries is coming out made me revisit this one, and how I love it. It is such a practical cookbook; there are recipes that you can plan for and impress with, but it is also very useful when you have something 'lying around' (like Nigel often does).... an on the spot decision to make plum crisp, p288, turned out beautifully just last week.
Mar 20, 2012 Zarb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's quite self indulgent to record your eating habits over a year and to then publish it all, but if you're Nigel Slater such an exercise just seems genuine. The man knows how to balance a passion for food with the need for practicality. It's not diner party stuff, it's cooking for the everyday, without compromising variety, taste or nourishment.
Aug 30, 2015 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The ' Blokes ' food writer/cook ' less bloke this time, more food writer.
The theme is as the sub title states, a diary of the seasons and what is best for that particular time and, if you believe him, what he actually did food wise at the time.
It's the type of cookbook you could quite happily sit down and read, which I did.

Are the recipes any good, of course they are, with Nigel they always are. Are they achievable, ditto.
One of the great things about Nigel is he doesn't mess about with the prin
Jan 29, 2013 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OK, so this is essentially a cookery book, but it's so beautifully written as a series of diaries it is much more than this! Fabulous seasonal recipes with delightful notes and commentaries. I know not everyone is a Nigel fan, but I just love his passion for good simple seasonal food, and his evocative style of writing.
Dec 06, 2011 Terri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cooking
A good book for those who like more to their cookbooks than just pictures and recipes.
This does was it says on the tin.
It is a kitchen diary. A good kitchen diary at that, a Nigel Slater kitchen diary, with about 300 recipes and pictures to go along with it.
Aoife Lennon
I adore Nigel Slater - simple as. I loved the conversational, humourous way this was written: example, describing rice cakes as "polystyrene ceiling tiles!" I have the second volume, but will take a break and read a few other things first. Hugely enjoyable.
Roz Dibley
Dec 07, 2010 Roz Dibley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Nigel Slater and the way he writes - like all good cookbooks, this is one that can be read whilst sitting in bed thinking about what you would like to cook.
Karen Foster
Read Harder Challenge 2016 - challenge 22 - Read a Food Memoir...
Loved it so much.....This is a book I am going to keep coming back to all year..... This day by day account of one year in Nigel Slater's food life, is just wonderful. He starts the year, determined to waste less, cook daily and eat as little processed food as possible - a mission I admire, and aspire to achieve.
Nigel Slater is hands down my favorite food writer. He writes about food in a way that perfectly captures the sensual na
Ninja Neko
Apr 22, 2016 Ninja Neko rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
I've seen Nigel Slater's cookbooks praised everywhere, so was quite curious to know what the fuss was all about. And I get it: if you like reading about food, you can spend hours getting lost in some of his descriptions of meals. It's also important to realize this really is a food diary with some recipes throughout. So that includes lots of meals consisting of just tomatoes and cheese. Or tinned fish on toast. Which is fine really. The book was a nice companion during quiet lunches alone.
Jun 29, 2015 Thomas rated it it was amazing
I love this book!

Food writer Nigel Slater, Britain's lesser known culinary hero, keeps a record of things cooked and eaten throughout the year, providing easy recipes and full color photos. The result is not just readable -- an accomplishment in itself, for a cookbook -- but thoroughly enchanting. And its so wonderfully unpretentious! He's into farmers markets and seasonality, for example, but he's not a zealot about it. And the meals he cooks sound amazing but they aren't terribly elaborate; of
Lee Broderick
Jun 24, 2013 Lee Broderick rated it liked it
Shelves: food
After a few pages I was flexing my fingers, ready, with a flourish of my keyboard, to dismiss this book as food-as-lifestyle snobbery. Impractical and unreachable to the majority of the population - as indulgent as anything written by Simon Hopkinson. There is certainly that edge to it but it's impossible to level the food-porn guns squarely at someone who confesses to sardines on toast, fish and chips and takeaway pizza.

In truth, I'm not sure quite who this book is aimed at - Nigel Slater is cl
Dec 23, 2009 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sarah
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Shana
I really can't recall the last time I enjoyed reading a book as much as I enjoyed The Kitchen Diaries. I spent most the weekend curled up with it on the couch under a warm blanket, drinking a hot mug of coffee. It's basically the perfect format for me - a combination of diary and cookbook, reflecting on seasonal eating, cooking experiments (both good and bad), and the pleasures (and sometimes shames) of food. After reading through half the year on Saturday, I woke up Sunday morning dreaming of p ...more
Jan 20, 2008 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I heard Nigel Slater read from the "December" section of this book on the radio last Christmas Eve. I'm not kidding when I say I haven't forgotten it since. I've finally gotten ahold of the book and oh, the photos, and oh, the descriptions. One reviewer called it "food poetry." Will be cuddling up with this one for sure as the weather gets colder.

I've got to return this one, even though I could easily keep it on my nightstand and read each "diary entry" as the year goes by. This book could turn
Jun 21, 2007 devra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks, foodlit
earlier this week, i finally finished my much-anticipated read of nigel slater's "kitchen diaries," a year-long account of what happened in his kitchen and garden in london. i had hoped it would provide me with some inspiration, especially for writing about my food, and as an added bonus might have a few pictures or a pleasant recipe.oh, how it was everything i hoped for and more. the writing was like food poetry. or porn, if one must be more graphic about it. every word conveyed this complete d ...more
Feb 22, 2015 Anwen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this book by one of my favourite cookery writers, the recipes are, as usual sublime. Just as delectable, however, is Slater's prose, as effortlessly comforting as one of his risottos or casseroles. His writing is sharply observed, and the seasons surely change as the pages turn. I always wish I ate better when I read one of Slater's books, but therein lies their magic. With them by my side, I just might do so. A gem that pays being read from cover to cover, or just dippedinto for inspiration, ...more
Sep 16, 2008 fourstar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
Like all his 'recipe books' there is a theme running through this, which in this case is a whole year's diary of meals. Is this a fake construct or did he actually eat all those delicious recipes? I think he probably did (and more, which didn't make it into the final edit). Either way, some fantastic recipes included, all using seasonal produce from that fabulous little farmers market round the corner (yeah, I know, in reality it's shrink-wrapped from Tesco Metro at the Tube station).

Like Appeti
Jul 06, 2009 Samantha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are a few books about food I read each year that I know within about four pages that not only am I going to need to acquire, but I'm going to end up stuck in the house reading each page, captivated, and am going to spend the next several weeks cooking avidly out of, and then use forever more on a regular basis.

Nigel Slater's "The Kitchen Diaries" is definitely one of these books.

Slater goes through a year of his own meals, sometimes giving full recipes, other times just offering a little m
Nigel Slater’s book The Kitchen Diaries is filled with good stories and wonderful recipes. It feels a cheat to say I am done with it because I return to it again and again.

Sometimes the diary entry is about the weather or what went on in the market while he purchased mushrooms or veggies. Inevitably it leads to a recipe which pairs with the story. I have prepared many meals from this book, some I follow to the letter and some I need to adapt.

One of my favorites has to be the zucchini fritters. T
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Nigel Slater is a British food writer, journalist and broadcaster. He has written a column for The Observer Magazine for seventeen years and is the principal writer for the Observer Food Monthly supplement. Prior to this, Slater was food writer for Marie Claire for five years. He also serves as art director for his books.

Although best known for uncomplicated, comfort food recipes presented in earl
More about Nigel Slater...

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“Good kitchens are not about size; they are about ergonomics and light.” 7 likes
“Almost anything is edible with a dab of French mustard on it.” 7 likes
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