Cover Image: The Kitchen Cabinet

The Kitchen Cabinet

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I received a temporary e-ARC of ‘The Kitchen Cabinet: A year of recipes, flavours, facts & stories for food lovers ’ by Annie Gray from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. Thank you. 

This book wasn’t what I was expecting. The book cover is lovely and because I am a food lover who enjoys cooking, baking and making, I thought I’d really enjoy this book. I thought it was going to be more of a recipe book and didn’t realise it was based on a successful BBC radio chat show; likened to a food version of Gardener’s world. 

There’s so much information in ‘The Kitchen Cabinet’. The format is month-by-month chapters to highlight the different seasons and offerings of that particular season. Each month features key dates in the food lovers calendar [think festivals], key flavours and crops associated with each month, cheese, different UK towns and cities and the special regional dishes and other food traditions. There are different icons to help readers navigate through the book: Recipe idea, Science, History, Settle a debate, Audience question, Local hero, Kitchen hack, and Mythbuster klaxon. This is a good idea as there’s an awful lot of information packed into this book. 

Overall, I can’t say that I enjoyed reading ‘The Kitchen Cabinet’. It was O.K. I haven’t listened to the radio show and it wasn’t on my radar until now. The recipe’s aren’t very detailed and are more like suggestions and ideas of things to eat. It’s definitely not a recipe book. I’d recommend this book to fans of the show or loved ones who are interested in the history of food.
Was this review helpful?
A really informative kitchen companion full of useful snippets, seasonal info and historic facts. I love Annie Gray when I catch her on tv but haven’t heard of the radio show associated with this book. I’ll be off to find the podcast now.
Was this review helpful?
Really a joy to browse this book! I learned a lot but found it poetic and lyrical at times. It was a comforting read in a way, although I think it's a book better suited as a paper copy to be browsed rather than an ebook.
Was this review helpful?
The Kitchen Cabinet has become a quintessential part of Saturday morning Radio 4:listening ; a blend of facts , recipes , opinions and trivia. The same team’s thoughts and ideas has been collated into this quirky compendium by Dr Annie Gray highlighting a range of recipes, historical facts , ideas and the downright curious. Divided into the twelve months and seasonal foods and delights the book explores customs and the regular panels approaches to creating certain dishes along with myth busters and various observations towards long held cookery beliefs..This isn’t a cookbook but a delight for the foodie enthusiast to dip into through the year or in one greedy sumptuous reading and enjoy the cornucopia of delights that is The Kitchen Cabinet. The only quibble is the layout is a bit random at times and including visits to venues featured in the programme it did feel a bit like an old fashioned annual / review
Was this review helpful?
The Kitchen Cabinet is one of the very best programmes on Radio 4, and this book really captures everything that makes the radio show so enjoyable - the enthusiasm and expertise of the panellists, the eclectic range of topics discussed and the general sense of humour and bonhomie that permeates every episode. 

This is a book which every food lover would enjoy - a compendium of culinary debates, anecdotes and practical tips. Dr Annie Gray has done a brilliant job of compiling this book, and as with the radio show, it's quite an achievement that our taste buds are so fully engaged without recourse to any photographs of the dishes under discussion. It's not really a cookbook but does include lots of recipes that you could cook from. These are generally sketched out in quite general terms, so those who like precise instructions on cooking times, temperatures etc. might need to supplement these recipes with advice from online - but I don't think that's a problem.

The topics under discussion are wide-ranging, from asparagus, offal and crab to the best way to make a crisp sandwich or a train picnic. The book benefits from the varied expertise of the panellists, including chefs such as Tim Anderson (whose suggestions are always delightfully zany), scientists such as Barry Smith, and Annie Gray herself, whose insights as a food historian are unfailingly illuminating.  The book is gleefully gluttonous, refreshingly unpretentious, and often laugh-out-loud funny - I was very pleased to be reminded of Annie Gray's legendary 'candle salad', and was also tickled by M.F.K. Fisher's description of a "bum sandwich".  

The book is divided into sections, each focused on a month and a place in the UK, which means that eating locally and seasonally are both foregrounded. The book also touches on questions of ethics and sustainability, but never comes across as pious or didactic. As Jay Rayner says in the Foreword, "The Kitchen Cabinet has always been a place for people who live to eat and so is this book." 

This could either be dipped into or read from start to finish - I intended to do the former but ended up doing the latter! It would also make a great gift for any gourmands who would like something slightly different from another cookbook! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me an ARC to review.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this, perfect for foodies and cooks. And I think it would be such a nice gift too! Easy to rifle through every now and then. Made me so hungry!
Was this review helpful?
I didn’t realize this was from a BBC radio show, that made sense when I started to read the book.  It’s divided by month, and each month features an English city.  The month also talks about the holidays for  (many of them not celebrated in the US) and foods in season.  There’s city and food history, funny stories, household questions and answers, and recipes. 

I’m definitely going back make the Socca Pancake and the Spicy Noodle Salad.  In many cases, the recipes are without specific quantities, so don’t expect a traditional recipe format. 

I had fun reading this book, I learned a lot of food history.  I’ll return to it again, it’s best read in smaller doses.  4 stars.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Was this review helpful?
This is an interesting book, I liked the concept, but I was bored and didn't enjoy the random information after a while. Maybe the listeners of the show would appreciate it a lot more.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. It was an interesting read and I learned a lot. I think bring a listener to the radio show would help to add value when reading this. Interesting though.
Was this review helpful?
As a long time listener of many BBC Radio 4 programmes, I thought I'd give this book a try (not realising that it was tied to a culinary panel show). 
I have always enjoyed whatever Jay Rayner has to say and in a way this book was no different. 
As it was based off a show centred around food, I somehow expected more food and recipies rather than a history of food and geographical influences - but I can't say I was disappointed. 

I've never read such eclectic mentions of cheese (and so many varieties of such), it's genuinely interesting to learn about uk produce in particular, I think over the last few years with Brexit particularly, we need a solid reminder that the uk can and does produce quality ingredients. 

My only reservation about The Kitchen Cabinet is that I think it's a little difficult to get into and fully enjoy if you've not listened to the show.
Was this review helpful?
I was intrigued by the blurb of "The Kitchen Cabinet" which promised me "A year of recipes, flavours, facts and stories for food lovers". As someone who loves trivia and definitely loves their food, I wanted to read this book. I've never listened to the radio programme but that wasn't a disadvantage. The Kitchen Cabinet is your month by month guide to a world of food. Each month starts with a list of events to be excited by as well as the flavours of that particular month. There is a long list of panellists who contribute to each month and who give tips of the food you might be cooking that month, the history of the dishes and even bust popular food myths - who knew you shouldn't keep your tomatoes in the fridge? There are plenty of insights into the radio show and Q&A sections so you can benefit from the panellists experience.

It's the perfect gift for any foodie and could easily be adapted into a new years resolution or foodie challenge.

Thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to review an advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
The Kitchen Cabinet is a food-soaked BBC radio programme with an impressive expert panel. Organised by month, each chapter is represented by that months episode. I began at the beginning with January in Bakewell but quickly skipped to September in Manchester where I'd spent some time doing a masters at the University. Each episode/chapter is eclectic. September in Manchester spans a brief history of the city, Chinatown and  dining choices in Chinese restaurants, through to offal and apples with a diversion to fish finger sandwiches. A book to be dipped into, it's fun and very readable. Recommended for fans of the show.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed The Kitchen Cabinet It  an informative fun read. iI really enjoyed reading recipes,& food  suggestions from different locations.A book I will be suggesting and gifting to friends .#netgalley #ebury
Was this review helpful?
This book certainly has a lot of information - however a lot of it just felt really random.
Some of the tips/stories were interesting, but some were just a bit dull.

This book just became a bit too formulaic and ploddy towards the end. I lost interest the more I went though the book, the less I enjoyed it. 

It was OK - but not anything I would rave about.
Was this review helpful?
Oh I do love an almanac and I do love food and organising my kitchen, so this book is definitely right up my street. I didn’t know The Kitchen Cabinet was originally a BBC programme, so that’s definitely one to download and binge watch.

I like the exploration food from other countries and cultures that Annie delves into, and especially the influence they’ve had on UK cuisine. And not just the fact that we love a Chinese takeaway or a visit to a local Turkish restaurant, but where our actual food has come from.

It is tongue in cheek and numerous, but precise and informative. I like that some of it is in a Q&A format as it beings a very real personal touch to it. 

As always, my favourite chapter was the December one. As we all know by now, Christmas is my favourite time of the year and Annie has just perfectly captured the warmth and cosyness of the time, and how important food and feasting is to us when we celebrate.
Was this review helpful?
A delightful book, featuring recipes and tales of each of the localities mentioned, for example York, Newcaste and Bakewell, well worth reading and re reading. Highly recommended and I really enjoyed the book. I realised before long, how little I knew about food, and I had thought myself something of an expert before, but this book filled in some of the gaps, and made me realise there may well be more gaps. Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for giving me a copy of the book.
Was this review helpful?
I like the Kitchen Cabinet and Annie Gray. Although Annie is credited as author, it appears to be a selection of transcripts of various episodes of the radio program. Not what I expected give Annie’s wide knowledge of food through the ages. I was very diappointed.
Was this review helpful?