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Cook Book Review - At Elizabeth David's Table, Jill Norman


Elizabeth David - Elizabeth David's Recipes - Elizabeth David Recipes
Photo © David Loftus

The Bottom Line

This book is a strong contender for my book of the year 2010. Once picked up I couldn't put it down until the urge to rush to the kitchen and cook many of the recipes became too strong. A lovely, lovely book.


  • Carefully arranged chapters guide readers through 12 chapters of Elizabeth's best recipes
  • Mouth-watering photography, makes you want to grab the dish and eat it.
  • Chapters interspersed with essays from Elizabeth David - fascinating reading.
  • No one cuisine dominates showing the versatility of David's work.
  • Everyday recipes anyone can cook.


  • For me, no need for celebrity tributes, David's work stands up alone.


  • At Elizabeth David's Table - Her best everyday recipes
  • Compiled by Jill Norman
  • Photography by David Loftus
  • Published by Michael Joseph Penguin Books
  • Hardback - £25.00
  • ISBN: 9780718154752

Guide Review - Cook Book Review - At Elizabeth David's Table, Jill Norman

Elizabeth David is the food writer to whom Britain owes a lasting indebtedness. She is the woman who changed the face of British food and cooking in a dreary post-war country. The brightness of the food and vivacity of her writing has continued to inspire even today, 60 years since she published her first cookery book.

At Elizabeth David’s Table is a collection of her best everyday recipes. It is complied by renowned writer Jill Norman, who was David’s long-time editor and since 1992, the Literary Trustee of the David Estate.

Jill has carefully crafted a book which takes the reader on a journey through the 12 chapters of recipes – from starters onwards – interlaced with short essays from Elizabeth David, many of which originally appeared in Vogue and the Spectator. This clever combination gives a breadth of interest beyond the average cookbook. It is a book to curl up with on the sofa and read as much as it is a book to prop up in the kitchen and cook from – a rare entity in cookbook publishing.

Praise must also go to David Loftus for his photography. Elizabeth David’s recipes are timeless and defy style and fashion and to create visual images to support that a difficult undertaking surely? David pulls it off beautifully. The photography makes no attempt to grab attention, rather it carefully mirrors the beauty it sits alongside and draws the reader gently in.

As the owner of hundreds of cookbooks - and the recipient of new ones practically every week - my assessment of any cookbook is do I want to cook from it? At Elizabeth David’s Table had me twitching to get to the kitchen and sent me into a spin as I couldn't decide what to cook first. A testament to what is a lovely book.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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