Golly, the lovely Bee Wilson (who's book Swindled is a great read btw) has very kindly named Food Britannia The Sunday Times' food book of the year, and what a year it was for interesting foodie books. Other contenders included some big tomes from the big names like Jamie's Great Britain, Raymond Blanc's Kitchen Secrets and Bill's Everyday Asian.
In the FT too
If that wasn't enough plaudits, food writer (and cafe owner) Tim Hayward named checked Food Britannia in his 2011 culinary round-up in The Financial Times. He said ‘like a gluttonous contemporary William Cobbett, Webb has toured the country talking to food producers old and new. More than a good read, this may well turn out to be an important historical snapshot of the British food scene at the end of a significant decade'
What I think all of the above shows, is that while big glossy cookery books by famous and long established chefs will always be with us; there are new voices, and more importantly new styles of book, breaking through.
People will always want recipes, and books will provide them (but for how long?). But today I think they also want context, and history, and descriptions and substance. I like to think that Food Britannia provides that, because it sure as hell doesn’t provide any recipes!
Anyway, Bee and Tim – both of whom I know professionally but that is all – know what they’re talking about, so why not buy a copy of my book, and see what all the fuss is about. Thanks.