We have lots of Ottolenghi books in our collection and we adore and admire him as the authority on modern, meat-light Middle Eastern cookery, however we’ve longer adored Claudia Roden as a deity of cookery writing. The way she writes and cooks food is so much more about feeding the soul and understanding culture than satisfying appetite. In particular her exploration and recipe reporting on the Middle East is the best we’ve found; her books are rich, resplendent and enticing every time our hand runs along the cookbook shelf seeking inspiration.
Each generation is defined by its cook books. I grew up with these wonderful kitchen ‘mothers’ through the English-speaking world: Madhur Jaffrey, Paula Wolfert, Jane Grigson, Elizabeth David, Marcella Hazan, Diane Kennedy, Yan Kit-So, Anna Del Conte and Claudia Roden. I loved this book, it inspired me to travel, to buy a couscoussiere, to go to the Tunisian deserts, to love rosewater and olive oil and dried apricots and dates – and of course (deep bow) to cook my body weight in flourless orange and almond cake.
I used this as a guide book on a trip to Morocco years ago, reading it while travelling through dusty desert towns, exploring the souks of Marrakesh and eating all the street food that I could get my hands on. An invaluable introduction to the techniques, ingredients and dishes of the Middle East.
Writer and Food Consultant
Claudia writes with a beauty and joy that is unmatched. The recipes are fabulous but it's more than that -- it's a book you want to read and savour.
Restaurant critic, author, columnist
The Middle East became just that little less mysterious for me as a young cook, with Claudia Roden by my side.
Writer and former chair of the Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery
Enlarged version of the pioneering book that introduced the West to what is now one of our favourite cuisines.
This gave us at least a dozen new things to do as part of our daily life: that's quite a high figure really.
Blogger at Desperate Reader
For being so readable as well as inspiring to cook from.
Coordinator for England of the Slow Food Chef Alliance and Ark of Taste
A scholarly subject, made accessible and fun to read.
Irish chef, food stylist and best-selling author
Lecturer in the Culinary Arts, Dublin Institute of Technology
Group Publishing Director, Allen & Unwin/ Murdoch Books
Food writer and novelist
Creative Partner at Here Design
Head Chef, The Eagle Farringdon
Blogger, Chinese Grandma
Publisher of Appetite
Co-founder of School of Artisan Food
Chef, cookbook author and television personality
Food writer and cook
Author and editor
Chef and author
Professional Food Lover
Founder and executive chef of Cafe Paradiso and author
Cookbook author and founder of Hashi Cooking
Author and lecturer
Honorary curator of the culinary collection at the Schlesinger Library
Owner and Founder of the Ballymaloe Cookery School
Food writer, former restaurateur, food educator
Food writer and journalist
Publishing Director – Illustrated Books, Penguin Random House Australia