Simply food


“It’s a wrap!” As I wrote in my third cookbook and will repeat here, that’s what we say when we finish a film or television shoot.

Everyone heaves a huge sigh of relief whether it’s been a grand success or a nightmare with problems. I’ve worked on both types of production.

Working on my fourth and latest cookbook–Simplifood: Amazing food, simply prepared–has been fun, so getting to the end has been with a real sense of accomplishment; more a sense of regret than a sigh of relief. Cooking is my passion, my hobby, occasionally my occupation, and it has been a wonderful excuse to get into the kitchen almost every day and cook up new recipes and old for inclusion. All 250 or so recipes have first appeared on Gentleman’s Portion, or in one of my previous three cookbooks.

Since the third one was published, another 100 or so recipes accumulated on this blog, or in the folders crammed with recipe cards in one of my kitchens. In my townhouse in Toronto’s leafy Annex neighbourhood, I had a great chef’s kitchen: a Subzero fridge, a Miele range with four gas burners, a lava grill, a wok burner and a deep fryer, plus two wall-mounted ovens. Most of these recipes were cooked and tested there, on friends at very many dinner parties over the last decade or more, or simple suppers for my grown-up family.

In the little cottage we inherited from my late mother-in-law, a mile or so from where the English counties of South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire meet, I have another, simpler setup. From the kitchen table, I can see all the way to the horizon: pure country fields and woods without a single light to be seen at night. Horses and riders clip-clop up the lane regularly. The pub is just a five-minute walk away when I need a break and some convivial conversation. There is no coffee shop to distract me. It’s a bucolic paradise and the best writing room I’ve yet to have. Simple repasts have been prepared here for my UK based family, whenever I can.

Now I have a new home in the beautiful and historic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, and I may take a break until I find my feet in my new kitchen, where a splendid Fisher and Paykel convection oven and gas range rules. This house is different from the others in that the living and dining room have a cathedral ceiling and the kitchen is open to them both. I’m having to learn to be a tidy cook and keep all the kitchen clutter put away.

The big excitement this week was when my art director David Taylor sent me the final version of the cover . Creating the title (explained to the left) and cover image (seen above) has been a great collaboration and we have been through many designs before we were both happy. Thanks to friends and family who kindly gave their input on earlier versions.

Simplifood: Amazing food, simply prepared, Nigel’s fourth cookbook is now available as an eBook well priced at 9.99 in any currency. Click on Lulu Publishing or Kobo.

I hope you enjoy the book and all my recipes. Dare one mention that it would make an excellent Christmas gift?

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This is Nigel’s 357th blog on Gentleman’s Portion. The SEARCH function at the top works really well if you want to look back and see some of his previous stories, or check under CATEGORIES.

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