Cookery Quote
Never eat anything bigger than your head
We should all be eating less meat and better meat
Whenever you see crossed chives you are in trouble

Beware, a new idea!

What an interesting idea. Why do cookery books have to look like cookery books? As one of my books slid down the sales chart to a level that really upset both me and my publisher (with sales that were euphemistically described as “slow”), one of the “comments” on the web was a rant about how silly we were to produce a cookbook without glossy pictures. Cookbooks are all shoe-horned into a format – they look like cookbooks, they read like cookbooks, they are illustrated like cookbooks. But hang on, this year’s autumn list has something genuinely new and it’s coming to a shelf near you. A brilliant cookbook by Andrew Webb that’s been disguised as a Haynes Manual.

Gents of a certain age will know all about Haynes Manuals – you bought the car that you had covetted and then you bought the manual to tell you how to change the plugs and many other arcane procedures. These books were workmanlike, went into amazing detail and robust enough to cope when you splattered them with oil. They were linked with mattters mechanical. Which means that the Men’s Pie Manual is a breath of fresh air. Andrew Webb has written “The complete guide to making and baking the perfect pie”. The book is full of graphics, the recipes are clear, the detail is very impressive. There are pies that are easy to cook and some that are more advanced. Lots of pictures, but still a manual, with that thin paper and glossy utilitarian feel. This really is a Pie Manual for men. It goes about things in a mannish sort of way, plenty of explanation and a certain OCD approach to measuring. These are values that make this volume perfect for ladies who cook. The book is worth purchasing just for the section on pastry which makes a great job of explaining the techniques involved – at last you may feel inspired to make a hand raised pork pie. Andrew Webb writes well and knowledgeably as befits a fellow judge at the British Pie Awards. Hurrah for the manual, is it the future for cookbooks?

Men's Pie Manual, published by Haynes Manuals

Charles Campion - Tuesday 21st October 2014

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  • Five hot Chillies
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  • Mirch Masala
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  • The Brilliant
  • Sitaraay