Too many cook books


Kirstie Allsop, co-presenter of Location, Location, Location cropped up as a guest on Saturday Kitchen recently. And, low and behold, she has just written a cook book, Kirstie’s Real Kitchen.  She gushed to the excellent Matt Tebbutt (a fitting heir to James Martin) that she has written a cook book with accessible recipes, so everyone at home can follow them. Blimey. I thought that was the whole point of a cookery book.

Every time I watch Saturday Kitchen there’s someone plugging another cook book and making out it is providing something unique.  The truth is, in most cases, they’re not. They are simply tweaking existing recipes. “It’s cottage pie with a twist.”

I have a collection of cook books, but have never used most of them. Nowadays I’ll often head to You Tube to watch a clip of a top chef, such as Marco Pierre White, Rick Stein, or Gordon Ramsay, cooking a particular dish.

What astonishes me is that most of these cook books being churned out by publishers are filled with arty photos of dishes and therefore expensive to produce. And then there’s all the marketing. But I can’t help wonder how many of them actually sell, or sell well enough to make a profit for the publisher. I can’t answer this question – but I bet Kirstie is already working on her second book.


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