I appreciate that it’s pretty much like an hour long advert, but I’m rather enjoying Mr Selfridge. I love a good browse around Selfridges (although I can skip the Trafford Centre one), particularly the Food Hall in Birmingham or London. So for this week I’ve picked the cook books from some of the great shops of the world.
The Good Wife’s Cook Book by Selfridges – I’m a little surprised to find that with the renaissance of Selfridges, and with the importance of its food hall, that it doesn’t have a more up to date cook book. This book was written in 1911, so interesting as a piece of culinary history, rather than something you might want to cook a Wednesday night dinner from. But you never know!
Harrods Book of Traditional English Cookery – ah 1987, when Harrods was not long under Al Fayed ownership, and still feeling quite traditional. I can remember seeing this for sale at the time, but as a 19 year old office junior it wasn’t where I would spend my money. There again, looks like it might not have been a bad investment. Lovely old school approach to British cooking, though not quite as old as the Selfridges one!
Harvey Nichols – The Fifth Floor Cookbook – completing the triumvirate of London stores, and the most up to date of the three. This is a translation of their best dishes into dishes for home. My memories of eating on the Fifth Floor are just of lovely fresh flavours, and beautiful presentation. Perhaps I need to go back and see if it’s still the same.
Dean & Deluca Cookbook – one of my favourite stores in NYC, and probably not much of a surprise that they have a cookbook. It’s great for unusual recipes for different ingredients, I like the writing style, and it brings happy memories back of the hours I’ve spent in there whenever I cook from it.
Avoca Cafe Cookbook Book 2 – again, another shop I’ve enjoyed wandering around. The seven floors of Suffolk Street are an Aladdin’s cave and the cafe is the perfect refuelling stop. I think this is about modern, fresh, seasonal cooking, but real comfort food that you could make at home, and would want to cook. It’s not their only book, so could be spoilt for chocie, but I think it’s one I would definitely consider.
I’m sure there are other great stores around the world that have produced their own cookbooks, and I think I would be keeping an eye out for these and others. Maybe it could be the more sensible offset to my obsession with kitschness in cookbooks!