Saturday, May 12, 2012

Guardian blog

"The great recipe swindle", the headline on this blog I wrote for the Guardian, may be putting my argument a bit strongly. Still, the piece attracted more than 200 comments. Very few of them gave me a hard time: considering the overheated atmosphere that can prevail in such fora, I feel that I got away unscathed.

Perhaps it was my good luck that many of the posters ended up arguing with each other, particularly about how to cook rice. It is a subject that I have explored somewhat obsessively here, as the link on the right demonstrates.


Marmaduke Scarlet said...

I enjoyed your article! Perhaps "swindle" was over-egging the pudding, but I thought your article really highlighted the different ways people think about and write recipes versus actual cooking.

I hope we will see more of you on Word of Mouth!

Nicholas Clee said...

Thank you! Best wishes, Nick

pablopatito said...

It is a swindle. Take a handful of your favourite Elizabeth David recipes. Get commissioned to do a cookery program for the BBC (you need to be very good looking). Release a cook book in time for Christmas containing those same handful of Elizabeth David recipes, padded out with overly complex instructions, useless guff about how much your kids like the food, and dozens of arty photographs.

It's only my looks that have prevented me from having a successful career as a celebrity chef.

I bought your book when it first came out, and it's excellent. A cook book concentrating on techniques rather than recipes, without many photos, is so much better than the majority of cookbooks published today.

The great Steve Albini recently wrote "I don't use recipes so my advice is to learn how to prepare a bunch of different ingredients (one at a time is fine), then you can make dinner out of whatever is available at the time. It works for me. Just remember things you like and how you did it. General techniques are much more important than precise measurements for most foods. There's a real good Ruhlman book called Ratio for this kind of cooking."

Nicholas Clee said...

Thanks for the nice comments. I like the Albini quote - my approach exactly.

dinner.teaser said...

Hi Nicholas!

I stumbled across your article on the guardian website and really enjoyed reading your philosophy on cooking. I totally agree with your points, and I, as an amateur chef, prefer to cook without following strict rules as well.

I recently started to run a blog, where I make short, slick videos about easy recipes. I give no precise instructions, only the list of ingredients and some nice video shots to get the idea. I think the general approach of my videos is similar to your philosophy, so I thought I would write to you about it. Please have a look and let me know what you think.

(Sorry for spamming on your blog, but couldn't find any contact addresses.)

Keep up the good work.

dinner.teaser said...

Just one more question. Do you have any suggestions where I could post my videos/blog to make them more popular?


Nicholas Clee said...

These are great fun. Thank you for the link.

I'm afraid that the stats on this blog would tell you that I'm the last person to give advice about how to spread the word. I imagine it involves activity in the blogosphere and twittersphere, and on Facebook; but I'm very naive in these matters.

You deserve to find a good audience, though. Best wishes, Nicholas

dinner.teaser said...

Hi Nicholas again!

Thanks for the positive feedback. I was wondering if you are writing articles about food/recipes regularly? If you do, do you think there is a way you can mention my blog on some platforms/websites somehow? Or do you know anyone who i could get in contact with about these questions?

Thanks a lot

Nicholas Clee said...

I had a stint as New Statesman food columnist for a while, but am not a regular food writer. Sorry.

dinner.teaser said...

No worries, thanks anyway.