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The Kitchen Diaries: A Year in the Kitchen with Nigel Slater

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  2,474 ratings  ·  136 reviews
?Right food, right place, right time. It is my belief?and the point of this book?that 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 ex ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published October 19th 2006 by Gotham (first published 2005)
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 ·  2,474 ratings  ·  136 reviews

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Jan 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 “
Sep 04, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, culinary

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.

Apr 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written and illustrated, this was a joy to read. This is much more than ‘just’ a cookery book; Slater writes about food and cooking with such enthusiasm, authenticity, and clear and vivid detail that it stimulates the senses and fires up your imagination. The recipes are beautiful in their simplicity and easy to follow. My only niggle, through no fault of Slater’s, is that some of the ingredients are not easy to come by in Holland. 4.5 stars.
Dec 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Sheena Lambert
Feb 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food
Seriously one of the best books about food I have ever read. This was a birthday gift - and it was written by someone I'd never heard of. But he eats like I want to eat, and thinks about food the way I think about food.

There are recipes. Some that I will be trying. However, there is a lot of ideas in here. Attitudes towards food, eating, and cooking. A happy relationship.

There are some well planed meals in her but it is a food diary for a year so somedays there is nothing in the fridge, and som
Mar 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Nigel proves (not for the first time) that he is as great a storyteller as he is a cook. I could hear his voice and accent in my head, when reading it, as it was probably designed - each day of the diary on it's corresponding day during the year, my year. It allowed me to experience this book in it's fullest potential, and provided some great recipes throughout the year!

I truly enjoyed this sneak peak into Nigel's everyday life. His (almost) everyday account and thoughts about changing seasons,
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Dec 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Let me reiterate that I just love Slater's cooking writing. This one particularly yields itself to being read as a book, as it is literally a diary. And even though it is 15 years old now, it's still a very current cookbook - doesn't feel outdated at all. I love having it on my shelf. ...more
Dec 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
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 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Nov 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
She-Readers Book Club
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.
Roz Dibley
Dec 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookery
Feels like cheating to mark this or any cookbook as 'read,' because they are books you pick at, enjoying chapters out of order and then hopping to another section perhaps related, perhaps at random and suddenly an hour or more has slipped away. This will go on forever as it is used, remembered, marked.

Confession - I break my strictest reader rule with cookbooks. I write in them. In my family they are borrowed, passed down and nurtured. Recipes may be marked 'Grandma's Fav Piccalilli', or notes
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, cook
I picked this up because I thought it might have a favorite quick curry recipe, posted by Luisa Weiss on The Wednesday Chef a while ago. It has that recipe and 1000 others that are quite intriguing. Slater's cooking is generally easy, although going around to the butcher for some lamb is a little bit more difficult in the US. But it's also a little bit unfamiliar, in part due to his creativity perhaps, or pairings and traditions that are British/European. The flavors and use of vegetables from h ...more
Maya Panika
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My much-anticipated Nigel Slater book has come. So excited by it's arrival, I have wanted to read this book for a long time. Bought online, second-hand, it’s thick as a doorstop and twice as heavy; how can bookshops do these things for a penny plus £2.80 postage? I’m very happy with it, of course, Nigel Slater’s food prose is second-to-none, though it is now impossible for me to read anything by him now without hearing the voice of Damien Trench. Sadly, the illustrations are extremely disappoint ...more
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved this volume of the Kitchen Diaries just as much as the first one I read. Slater's perspective on food is one I aspire to, though I doubt I'll ever quite get there since I don't live in one of the largest cities in the world with all the markets, butchers, and cheese shops I could need, along with a productive home garden right out back. But, that's part of the charm of reading his kitchen diaries. They transport you to an idyllic food life, a calm, British, delicious food life that is an ...more
Oct 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was a fun book, lots of things I want to try. Also a bit of a mystery. I lived in the UK for several years and loved it. Anything will grow there. My favorite food writers all seem to come from there. I can, however, with great enthusiasm, go on about some of the worst meals I have ever had and they were all in the UK. There are great photos of food. And yet, the folksy writing, nonchalant use of ingredients that are early "readily available" (I live in Asia and before that on a mountain in ...more
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's become more popular recently to write memoirs and recipes woven into a year of a cook-chef, so you are getting seasonal foods (and often local to the author,) along with stories tied into the recipes. I have a friend who always uses Nigel Slater for his evenings at home or celebrations and swears by his recipes. I haven't tested any of them yet. Many are what you would consider "European" in sensibilities (quail, kumquats). The book is beautifully published. It's worth a read if for no othe ...more
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cook-books, must-buy, 2019
Absolutely beautiful book that belongs on a shelf in my kitchen. This is one that I want to be able to sit down and read whenever I feel like it, especially for inspiration. The recipes were mouthwatering and I often have the majority of those ingredients on hand. I loved that it had bits of personality sprinkled throughout and that there were entries for almost the entirety of his year as well as the recipes mostly follow seasonal ingredients. My only real aggravation was that the gorgeous phot ...more
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cooking, biography
I read this book slowly for a very long time savouring the pace, the information, the recipes, and the humanity that permeates the entire book.

The recipes I took on worked but what struck me was how ahead of his time he is, determined to eat according to the seasons.

The symbiotic relationship he has with suppliers and purveyors and orientation towards fundamental quality fits me as a person.

His take on onion soup using pan roasted onions instead of cut and pan browned made such a spectacular re
Lesley Lee
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love watching Nigel Slater on TV. Like my other two favourite TV cooks he is not a professional chef. I have Kitchen Diaries 2 and 3 and am part way through the second one. I have received The Christmas Chronicles as a present and have made a start on that too. I have loved this book. The reading is what makes it, the recipes are the icing on the cake. These are books I will go back to many times.
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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

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