Cooking up a perfect recipe repertoire

What the garden looked like before

I wanted to create a book that was really simple, easy to follow and goes back to basics. I am not trying to be clever. I want to show people how to make everything from a boiled egg right through to a soufflé.

And I hope that with my new book, Rosemary Shrager’s Cookery Course, that I have achieved this.

There are a lot of salads in the book, and there’s even a recipe about the perfect potato, but the biggest chapter is on vegetables. I did that on purpose because we need to eat more vegetables and not as much protein as we used to.

I think people can get nervous about cooking, so I want people to feel inspired when they read my book.

It’s important to me that I also give lots of alternatives. We don’t have to be what I call ‘food snobs’. If you need to buy a jar of mayonnaise, get one!

This is about how to cook something properly and getting the best out of your flavours. People will be able to do everything in the book – even down to mastering trickier things such as how to cook a bird within a bird. This is a great treat for Christmas and so much easier to carve.

I also wanted to address the fact that I believe family cooking has changed a lot over the last few years. Now it’s all about cooking together, as a group. Having said that, though, there is a whole generation of people out there who don’t know how to cook – and why should they? They haven’t been in a position to be taught how to cook.

It’s all very well watching TV shows, but they can be very aspirational and, actually, when it comes to the food, more difficult. My book is all about gaining confidence as you go through it.

The recipes, all 150 of them, are quick. In fact, it was trickier to make the book simplistic than it was to make it complicated!

Going back to basics is what I have tried to do without making it patronising in any way. I want Rosemary Shrager’s Cookery Course to be a jolly and fun book, with something for everyone to enjoy. I am genuinely proud of the book.

Rosemary Shrager’s Cookery Course is published by BBC Books priced £20 and is available from all good bookshops

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