Ask the book buyer: Book gifts for foodies 


The sound of sleigh bells is getting closer. Santa is ensconced in his grotto on the top floor of Jarrolds, drawing breath before his massive circuit of the earth on Christmas eve. You’ll presumably be leaving mince pies out for him and you'll find the perfect recipe in Nigel Slater's Christmas book, one of our featured titles this week. This week's books are by some of Britain's finest food writers and will give inspiration to your festive food preparation - or, as you probably gathered, they'll make great gifts, says Jarrold book buyer Chris Rushby. 


The Christmas Chronicles

Nigel Slater


Acclaimed food writers doing a Christmas book is a bit like seventies pop stars doing a Christmas single: it happens to all of them in the end. Jamie, Delia, Mary & co. have been there already, but Nigel Slater's Christmas book is a gem: packed with great recipes, anecdotes, history, hints and tips. This is one of those books that will single-handedly steer you through the choppy waters of Christmas preparation and delivery.  


The Road To Mexico

Rick Stein


Rick Stein's new series is a culinary and visual delight: the flavours and colours of Mexico and the American west coast are vivid and vibrant. Rick is, as ever, personable, affable and someone you feel you'd like to share a road trip with. Having tried several of the recipes in this book already I've gone from sceptic to convert about Mexican cuisine: it's full of good things and this book is full of great recipes, as well as echoes of the TV series. 


At My Table 

Nigella Lawson


Another TV cook who delivers reliable, simple recipes year after year, Nigella is one the country's favourite food people and her style, though sometimes parodied, is always enthusiastic and celebratory of the pleasures of good eating. She also has something in common with the man on the R. White's Lemonde TV adverts of the 1980s, in that she seems unable to resist late-night visits to the fridge for illicit treats. There are worse vices in the world, though.


Made At Home


Giorgio Locatelli's London restaurant has long been a place of pilgrimage for people wanting the finest Italian food, prepared with love and served with care by a committed team of chefs and serving staff. No flashy pyrotechnics here, just wholesome, delicious (and not cheap) brilliant cooking. Latterly, Giorgio has become something of a TV fixture, notably as a judge on the BBC's Big Family Cooking Showdown and touring Italy with Andrew Graham-Dixon on Italy Unpacked. His new cook book, the first in many years, celebrates the food he cooks at home for family and friends.  


Mary's Household Tips And Tricks - Your Guide To Happiness In The Home 

Mary Berry


Finally, a book from the doyenne of food writers, but which isn't in fact a cook book. Instead. the queen of puddings and cakes goes beyond the kitchen and uses her decades of experience to focus on tips and tricks for home freezing, house cleaning, washing, baking and a host of other domestic skills. The term 'domestic goddess' was applied some years ago to Nigella Lawson, but it's probably a fitting one for Mary these days.    


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