Writing book is a bit like having a baby (I imagine). There’s the thrill of the conception – the sealing of the deal, you might say – the long hard slog of the first trimester (nausea, sleepnessness, an ever-expanding waistline), another three months of corrections and anxiety, and then – waiting. Eventually, all goes quiet (book at the printers) and you forget the waiting will ever end; a pleasurable period of stasis before the tell-tale twinges, the advance copies, the interviews – the book’s thrilling birth pangs. This, as any mother will readily point out, is where my analogy breaks down, because the publication process culminates in a great big party – and actual gestation culminates in… well, you’ve seen One Born Every Minute.
So, Perfect: 68 Essential Recipes for Every Cook’s Repertoire, was launched into the world last Thursday (although Amazon and Waterstone’s seem to have ripped it untimely the weekend before) with a bash at Mason & Taylor in London’sTrendyShoreditch. Nice beer (including an intriguingly dark and salty IPA on tap which a very kind barman ran upstairs to pour for me), fab food, by all reports – sadly I never made it as far as the table thanks to a lovely crowd of well-wishers and fans of free drinks. Great review in the Evening Standard as well:
‘One rather engaging cookbook is Felicity Cloake’s Perfect (Fig Tree, £18.99), a collection of her admirable columns in The Guardian, talking herself through the best version of various dishes, from poached eggs to Yorkshire pudding. It’s rather a brilliant idea, to try out versions of a recipe, from anyone from Delia Smith to Elizabeth David, before plumping for the one that works best. You need finely honed culinary instincts, an open mind and a capacious cookbook collection for the formula to work; Miss Cloake has them all.’
Miss Cloake eh? Fancy. Anyway, everyone has been really very nice indeed about the book – the design, the illustrations, and even the bits I did. Remarkably, as my dad pointed out on Saturday, clutching the Review section, Perfect even appears to have topped the Guardian bookshop bestseller list last week – wooHOO!
Next stop: baby number two? It would be nice for Perfect to have something to play with, wouldn’t it?
More on the book here…