Writing a cookbook: a talk with Sybil Kapoor and Jenny Linford

Read about a chat with food book authors and how to write one yourself

CookeryBook_Blog_21May

A few weeks ago, during London Craft Week, I took part in a workshop to hand-make a notebook.

During this course, I learned the basics to create a very simple and important object from scratch for those who write, want to write and write down thoughts and reflections, and even more important to write down old recipes, new and experimental.

The old cookbooks of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers have been passed down from generation to generation, all very much lived and written with pen and paper. There were no phone applications when writing a recipe on the kitchen table mixed with flour and ingredients of the moment. I think we all received as a gift cookbooks from our families; it is important to continue the tradition and pass that story to those who like us want to cook and explore tastes and smells. Some of these cookbooks will become books. Here is a wonderful event organized by the British Library where two renowned names in writing and cooking talk to us about how to write a cookbook.  

You may love to cook, and perhaps write too, but what really goes into making a cookbook? Take a peek behind the scenes with two highly respected food writers, Sybil Kapoor and Jenny Linford, to find out about the process of writing and creating a cookbook, as they share their trials, tribulations and top tips.

Sybil Kapoor is the author of eight books including her latest Sight Smell Touch Taste Sound A New Way to Cook.  She began her career as a chef in London and New York and has since won many awards for her writing, including two prestigious Glenfiddich Awards, two Michael Smith Awards from the Guild of Food Writers and Food Writer of the Year at The Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards 2015. Her features have appeared in the GuardianThe Sunday Times, and the Financial Times. Her bestselling books include Modern British Food, Simply British and Taste. She contributes to The Economist’s 1843 MagazineHouse & Garden and the award-winning Borough Market Market Life magazine.

Jenny Linford is a food writer and author of over 15 books including The Chef’s Library, featuring the favourite cookbook choices of over 70 acclaimed international chefs, and Food Lovers’ London, first published in 1991 and still in print. Her work has appeared in Delicious, the Financial Times, Modern Farmer and the National Trust magazine. She runs Gastro-Soho Tours, offering personal guided tours around London’s food shops. Travelling to Denmark, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore and Spain as well as travelling around Britain to meet producers including bakers, chocolate makers, asparagus growers, ice cream makers and farmers, her most recent book, The Missing Ingredient, showcases the voices of the people she has encountered and championed over 26 years.

Food Season is supported by KitchenAid

More info:

How To Write A Cookbook
British Library St Pancras

Mon 20 May 2019, 19.00 – 20.30

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world’s greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library’s collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Up to 10 million people visit the British Library website – www.bl.uk – every year where they can view up to 4 million digitised collection items and over 40 million pages.

The British Library’s Membership scheme is a way for people to support the work of the British Library, while also gaining access to benefits including: unlimited free access to exhibitions, access to the exclusive Members’ Room (with a guest), access to the Knowledge Centre Bar (with up to three guests), 20% discount in British Library restaurants and cafés, 20% discount in our Shops, priority booking for events, along with four free tickets to British Library events. Membership is available at a range of prices and full details are available at www.bl.uk/membership.  Membership is separate from access to our Reading Rooms, which is available to anyone holding a British Library Reader Pass and which remains free.

About KitchenAid

2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the iconic KitchenAid Stand Mixer.

In 1908, after watching a baker mix bread dough with a heavy iron spoon, Ohio-based engineer, Herbert Johnston, developed a stand mixer to help alleviate the backbreaking work. By 1919, the first household mixer, boasting the unique planetary action and famous curves, was ready for market. During a product test, the wife of an employee exclaimed: “I don’t care what you call it, it’s the best kitchen aid I’ve ever had!”.  And the rest, as they say, is history …

Since the introduction of the stand mixer in 1919 and the first dishwasher in 1949, KitchenAid has built on the legacy of these icons to create a complete line of products. Today, the KitchenAid brand offers virtually every essential for the well-equipped kitchen from utensils and cookware to large and small electrical appliances offering professional performance to both chefs and passionate home cooks.

KitchenAid is part of the Whirlpool Corporation, the world’s leading major home appliance company. For further information on KitchenAid, visit www.kitchenaid.co.uk

Food Feast and Taste at the British Library

Join the foodie crowd this Spring at the British Library. Featuring writers, historians, food experts and chefs, the British Library Food Season (1 April – 31 May 2019) will involve talks, tastings and workshops inspired by the Library’s extensive food-related collections.

food season 2019_BritishLibrary

We know what we like, but what shapes our preferences? Yotam Ottolenghi joins food writer and founder of TastEd Bee Wilson and professor of genetic epidemiology Tim Spector to ask: how do we learn to taste? What influences our taste? And what role do upbringing, genes or gut microbes play in shaping how we take pleasure in food?

Yotam Ottolenghi is a cookery writer and chef-patron of the Ottolenghi delis, NOPI and ROVI. He writes a weekly column in The Guardian’s Feast Magazine and a monthly column in The New York Times. Yotam published seven bestselling cookbooks: Plenty and Plenty MoreOttolenghi: The Cookbook and Jerusalem co-authored with Sami Tamimi, NOPI: The Cookbook with Ramael Scully, Sweet with Helen Goh and his latest award-winning cookbook Simple co-authored with Tara Wigley and Esme Howarth. Yotam has made two Mediterranean Feasts series for More 4, along with a BBC 4 documentary, Jerusalem on a Plate.

Tim Spector is a professor of genetics and director of the TwinsUK registry at King’s College London. His current work focuses on the microbiome and diet. He also runs the crowdfunded British Gut microbiome project. Having published more than 800 research articles, he is ranked in the top 1% of the world’s most cited scientists by Thomson Reuters.

Bee Wilson is a food writer, historian and school food campaigner. She is the author of 6 books on food-related subjects including The Way We Eat Now: Strategies for Eating in a World of Change, First Bite: How We Learn to Eat and Consider the Fork. She writes about food and other subjects for a wide range of publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian and The London Review of Books. She was named Fortnum and Mason food writer of the year in 2016, 2017 and 2018. She is the chair of TastEd, a new organisation offering sensory food education for children in U.K. schools as a way to help this generation build a wider palate, especially for fruits and vegetables and a healthier relationship with food.

The British Library’s Food Season is supported by KitchenAid. Tickets will be on general sale from 8 March 2019. The event is chaired by Polly Russell and hosted at the Knowledge Centre – The British Library, London. When: Thursday 25 April 2019, 19:00 – 20:30.

 

Tickets: boxoffice@bl.uk (Limited Places)

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Chef Heston Blumenthaland award-winning composer Dominic Murcott contemplating the relationship between food and music through live performances, micro experiments and tastings
  • Chef and restaurant owner Yotam Ottolenghiexploring the role upbringing and genes play in shaping how we enjoy food
  • Food writers Nigella Lawson, Bee Wilson and Ella Risbridger exploring the role of voice, narrative and storytelling in cookery books
  • Restaurant critic Grace Dent and food writer, journalist and activist Jack Monroe discussing food inequality and poverty in contemporary Britain
  • 2015 Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussainand presenter Sara Cox talking about food, cooking and what it means to be a working woman in the public eye
  • Restaurant critic and Master Chef judge Jay Raynerhosting a special recording of the BBC Radio 4’s culinary panel show, The Kitchen Cabinet
  • Award-winning Chocolat author Joanne Harris reflecting on the sensuality of food in fiction