Episode 23: A Writer in the Kitchen

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The food writer and chef Olivia Potts joins the Slightly Foxed editors for a literary banquet. Olivia was a barrister for five years before enrolling at Le Cordon Bleu, becoming a cookery columnist on The Spectator and writing A Half Baked Idea, a memoir with recipes. From finding consolation in cooking and precision in pâtisserie to nostalgia-soaked blancmange and family dinners in the Cazalet Chronicles, the conversation flows, welcoming Jane Grigson, Elizabeth David, Charles Dickens and the extraordinary Fanny Cradock to the table along the way. And in this month’s taste from the magazine’s archives, Rachel Khoo’s cookbook conjures up feasts in an attic in Paris.

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Show Notes

Please find links to books, articles, and further reading listed below. The digits in brackets following each listing refer to the minute and second they are mentioned. (Episode duration: 43 minutes; 21 seconds)

Books Mentioned

We may be able to get hold of second-hand copies of the out-of-print titles listed below. Please get in touch with Anna in the Slightly Foxed office for more information.

Frontier Wolf and The Lantern Bearers, Rosemary Sutcliff: Slightly Foxed Cubs (0.50)

Hons and Rebels, Jessica Mitford: Slightly Foxed Edition No. 52 (0.53)

An Englishman’s Commonplace Book, Roger Hudson (1.00)

A Half Baked Idea, Olivia Potts (15:40)

The Little Library Cookbook, The Little Library Year and The Little Library Christmas, Kate Young (21.08)

The Cazelet Chronicles, Elizabeth Jane Howard (22.33)

Cider with Rosie, Laurie Lee: Slightly Foxed Edition No. 53 (23:33)

Bel-Ami, Guy de Maupassant (24:18)

Jumping the Queue, Mary Wesley is out of print (25:04)

The Little Paris Kitchen, Rachel Khoo (28:53)

The Diary of a Nobody, George & Weedon Grossmith (35:41)

Good Things to Eat, Lucas Hollweg is out of print (37:53)

The Pedant in the Kitchen, Julian Barnes (39.17)

The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt (39:35)

Related Slightly Foxed Articles

Haikus among the Pears, Olivia Potts on Jane Grigson’s Fruit Book, Issue 62

Cooking with a Poet, Sue Gee on Paul Roche, Cooking with a Poet, Issue 8 (1:43)

The Fanny Factor, Laurie Graham on Fanny Cradock, Coping with Christmas, Issue 64 (1:47)

Attics with Attitude, Elisabeth Russell Taylor on Rachel Khoo, The Little Paris Kitchen, Issue 36 (28:53)

At Home with the Pewters, Antony Wood on George & Weedon Grossmith, The Diary of a Nobody, Issue 32 (37:17)

Other Links

– Olivia Potts: www.ahalfbakedidea.co.uk

– Olivia Potts’s The Vintage Chef column in Spectator Life (12.50)

FEAST catering by Olivia Potts and Kate Young (21:01)

Opening music: Preludio from Violin Partita No.3 in E Major by Bach
Additional music: French Waltz by Sam Bikov from the album Dance the Night Away via www.freemusicarchive.org
The Slightly Foxed Podcast is hosted by Philippa Lamb and produced by Podcastable

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Comments & Reviews

  1. Ellen Emerson says:

    Like Kate H, my books-to-read list grew a little longer while listening to the podcast today! And while I haven’t thought to keep a list of great drinking scenes, Gordon Comstock goes on a spectacular bender in Orwell’s Keep the Aspidistra Flying, if I can recommend it for anyone who does keep such a list.

  2. Kate Harris says:

    Thank you for another wonderful podcast. I feel a frisson of excitement when another SF podcast email pops into my inbox so for the next few minutes I’m transported to your kitchen table where I draw up a chair and listen in, hastily scribbling down the recommended further reading list so I can carry on the joy when the table is cleared of cups, plates and crumbs and guests. Such a joy.
    As a bookseller, I thank you for all you do and look forward with glee to each SF parcel that arrives at Harris & Harris.

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