English Food

by Jane Grigson

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Recommended by

Peter Ross

Culinary librarian

Obsessed as I am with English Food I cannot leave this off my top ten list. Grigson's book was published at a time when English food was not highly regarded, but this work certainly kicked off a revival of interest. She inherited the mantle of Florence White and Dorothy Hartley, but writes better than both of them. All of her writing has beauty and authority with none of that patrician, slightly grumpy 'I know best' tone that in the end puts me off much of E. David's books

Chris J L Young


Since the late 1950s, Elizabeth David had been mainly championing the widescreen flavours of recipes from the continent over the limited palette of heavily-processed supermarket products. Then along came Jane Grigson to point out that, though since the Industrial Revolution we had forgotten more and more of it, England has its own brilliant national and regional cuisine.

Cynthia D. Bertelsen

Writer and food historian

A collection of English recipes way above and beyond bangers and mash, Toad-in-the-Hole, bread sauce, etc. Instead, much more elaborate recipes abound: Crab Tart, Chestnut and Apple Soup, Isle of Man Salt Duck. These are just a few of many examples of stellar English food that Ms. Grigson shares.

Henry Herbert

Retail Director, Hobbs House Bakery

As a young chef interested in what it meant to be English, Mrs Grigson showed me what this country had to offer and what had been lost. For a book with no pictures her writing makes you want to try it all.

Rachel McCormack

Writer and broadcaster

After making some of the food from this book for Spanish friends they still talk about it 15 years later. Beautiful writing, purenpleasure to read and cook from

Rowan Yapp


For me it's an epoch defining book that stands for all that is good about the cooking of the past and also preempts all that is good about the cooking of today.

Neil Buttery

Author, historian and chef

Amazing coverage of English Food from a historical perspective. Gives so much context. The most used cookery book I own. Almost worn out my second copy.

Regula Ysewijn

Food photographer, writer and graphic designer

This book can not fail from this list for the same reasons Florence White's can't be missing. Grigson and David changed the way we write about food.

Tamasin Day-Lewis

Writer, film maker

I taught myself to cook when at Cambridge by working my way through this, along with Jane Grigson's other books and those of Elizabeth David.

Geraldene Holt

Professional food writer and broadcaster

Jane Grigson helps to restore our faith in the good food of this country. Full of joyful discoveries and forgotten pleasures.

Cath Kerry

Writer, trainer, former chef and restaurateur

Thorough and proud, keeping the history and methods alive of a cuisine that undeservedly lost its gloss to Europe.

Adrian Chiles

Broadcaster and Writer

Easily the most battered book in my collection. Love her writing. Favourite: Turkey Giblet Gravy and Puff Pastry.

Rachel Roddy

Food writer and blogger

My second most used book, espcially at Christmas. It falls open at the bread sauce page.

Eleanor Barnett

Food historian

A classic work that celebrates English food, with beautiful and mouth-watering prose.

Fiona Burrell

Founder, Edinburgh New Town Cookery School

Fascinating book with recipes and their historical context.

Sarah Randell

Food writer and marmalade producer

Stephen Mennell

Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University College Dublin

Ursula Heinzelmann

Food and wine writer, Director of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery

Will Beckett

Co-founder of Hawksmoor

Daniel Doherty

Executive chef, Duck & Waffle

Nevin Halici

Chef and author

Anna Del Conte

Food writer

Justin Gellatly

Co founder and Master Baker at Bread Ahead

Mina Holland

Author and Editor

Lucas Hollweg

Food writer

Sheila Dillon

Food journalist

Ian James

Co-founder of Melrose and Morgan

Andrew Peters

Proprietor Green Park Brasserie, Bath Function Rooms, Green Park Express

Mary-Anne Boermans

Cookbook author

Kit Chapman