Head of Fantastic Food at Abel & Cole
Reaching the final book in my list of all-time favourite cookbooks has brought to light an unintended theme: all of the books I've chosen are much more than just a collection of recipes. They take you on a journey. They broaden your horizons, and some shine new light on old territories. Claudia Roden's Book of Jewish food does just this. She is one of the most thoughtful, insightful food writers. This book is the work of 15 years travelling the world, meeting people, talking, sharing, and discovering the vast complexity of Jewish cuisine and culture. It's one of the most lovingly tailored books I own. The collection of more than 800 recipes - many of them, never before documented - is interwoven with stories, reminiscences, history, jokes, childhood memories, travel adventures and more. The recipes are more than just something to cook, they're an invitation to share in a delicious culture.
I’m a huge Claudia Roden fan. I love all of her books and I wavered between this one, The Food of Italy and The Food of Spain but finally the sheer scope and scholarship of The Book of Jewish Food book swung it for me. Roden’s knowledge is immense and her research is painstaking – but its her warmth and humanity that shine through. There’s inevitably a sense of melancholy, of loss, to this book but these are just the qualities that make it a brilliant read.
Editor, Observer Food Monthly,
For me the best food writer alive, the last of the peerless three, with Elizabeth David and Jane Grigson. This is everything a cookbook should be, a conjuring of a culture through its history and cooking. Immaculately researched, wonderfully written, vigorously tested, a book to be read in bed but kept in the kitchen.
As much a masterwork of anthropology as it is of food writing. Roden's tracing of the Jewish diaspora via its recipes is an extraordinary work of scholarship that is never dry. An important work that will stand the test of time and should not only sit in every kitchen but in every library.
Chef and food writer
An undisputed classic. You will not find a more comprehensive book on food: a vast wealth of recipes collected over so many years and from so many people, but also a social history of the Jewish people as told through the food they eat and the traditions they share.
Founder and co-CEO of Hubbub
A gift, this book is as much social history as it is recipe book. Packed full of the classic Jewish Ashkenazi recipes that remind me of my grandparents' cooking, and have delighted in discovering many less familiar Sephardi dishes too.
Author and historian
As much a culinary history of the Jews as a cookbook, this adds up gradually to a journey through vanished times and the places you dream about. It is thorough and fascinating, like all Roden’s books.
Writer and broadcaster
Encompasses the food and culture of an entire people. What they eat, why they eat it, how and when. The recipes work and her knowledge and research is unparalleled
This is a cookbook that tells a story as rich and vast and magical as the recipes it holds inside. The Gateau a l'orange and the borscht are among my favorites.
Food writer and author
Even superlatives fall short when describing Claudia Roden's work. This is simply a wonderful book that demands to be read and cooked from in equal measures.
Food and travel writer
The one and only Claudia Roden. This book is an absolute treasure trove and is encyclopaedic in its depth. I often read it over breakfast, and in bed.
Broadcaster and Writer
Great writing, and every dish you cook from it seems to sizzle and smell with thousands of years of culinary and cultural endeavour.
A ground-breaking book that opened up the cuisine of an international culture in a way that very few books can hope to achieve.
A really interesting insight into the origins of Jewish cooking. Roden is a wonderful storyteller as well as recipe writer.
Founder of La Fromagerie in London
Dispelling all the myths and bringing to life on the page a cuisine that is meant to share and enjoy with family
Chief writer Channel 4 News
A beautiful book, with all the classics, which tells the story of the Jewish people through cooking.
Author, journalist, broadcaster and television personality
This book exemplifies the force of food writing as social history.
Food Editor, The World of Fine Wine and co-founder and convenor of the London Gastronomy Seminars
Showcasing the recipe book as social history.
Producer and host of Eat This Podcast
Can you tell, I like my cookbooks readable.
Great research, fine recipes.
I love her Sephardic recipes.
Food writer and broadcaster
Founder/owner of Mustards Grill, and Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen
Food writer and Daily Telegraph columnist
Freelance writer and blogger
Founding Director, Modern Pantry
Editor in Chief for Vogue Living Australia and judge on The Block
Food writer and restaurant consultant
Chef and author
Cookbook author and food journalist
Owner of the Forman businesses
Food writer, cookbook author and cookery teacher
Writer and food scholar
Deputy Food Editor, Washington Post
Author and food professional
Food writer and critic
Blogger, Life’s a Feast and Plated Stories
Founder of Rachel's Kitchen
Food and travel writer