A Cook’s Evolution in Books with Niki Segnit
Thursday 8th November 18:30 at London - Gower Street
Join Niki Segnit, the cook behind The Flavour Thesaurus and now Lateral Cooking, for a light-hearted evening in Gower Street’s cookery section, discussing her progress from total beginner to recipe robot and finally to free-spirited, improvisational cook. Noting the food books she has used along the way, Niki will extol the tyrannies and pleasures of the recipe book, and the home cook’s faltering attempts to live up to the pictures and the prose.
Seven years in the making, Lateral Cooking introduces a new approach to cooking. In 12 sections from Breads to Sauces, Stock, Soups and Stews to Pastry, Niki provides you with the basic recipes which can be subjected to almost infinite adaptation, enabling you to cook anything and everything, according to whatever is in your fridge, in season, on offer at the market, or you feel like making.
Niki’s journey began with a poorly designed, out-of-register Indian cookbook bought in a discount shop in a desperate attempt to recreate a curry-house korma. Next, her mother’s St. Michael All Colour Cookery Book – where the definition of “all” seemed limited to brown, and brown-ish – a copy of which Niki once retrieved from a bin, and use to this day; Elizabeth David’s French Provincial Cooking, recommended by her boss, a foodie before everyone was; the unattainable glamour of the River Café Cook Book; and finally, gloriously, The Moro Cookbook. If, as Saul Bellow has it, “a writer is a reader moved to emulation”, it was above all Sam and Sam Clark’s classic that set Niki on the course that would lead to The Flavour Thesaurus – which, in turn, led to her latest book Lateral Cooking, her “attempt to dispense with recipes altogether”, and thus a natural end to her journey.
Tickets are £6 / £4 students and Waterstones loyalty card members. To get a discount on your book, buy the book-and-ticket option for £35
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