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Nigel Slater Books In Order

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Publication Order of Memoirs

Toast (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Kitchen Diaries II (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Notes from the Larder (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Year of Good Eating (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Cookbooks

"Marie Claire" Cookbook (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Real Fast Food (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Marie Claire's Creative Cuisine (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Real Fast Desserts (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Real Fast Puddings (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
30 Minute Cookbook (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The 30-Minute Cook (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
30-minute Suppers (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Real Cooking (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Real Good Food (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Real Food (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Appetite (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thirst (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tender (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ripe (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Eat (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Christmas Chronicles (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Greenfeast: Spring, Summer (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Greenfeast: Autumn, Winter (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Cook's Book (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Eating for England (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon

Nigel Slater is a British writer that specializes in writing about food. Born April 5, 1958 in Wolverhampton, England, he is perhaps best known for his 2004 novel Toast, a journey into his past largely remembered through the food in his pantry and his desire for home-cooked extravagant meals while his mother attempted and generally burned dinner, serving as the back-up plan toast instead.

Slater has not only written about food extensively but has also worked as a broadcaster and a journalist. He wrote for The Observer Magazine and penned a regular column that had a memoir style. He writes for the Observer Food Monthly supplement, something he fell into after five years writing about food for the magazine Marie Claire (and putting out a cookbook for the magazine too).

In addition to writing books about food, Slater has also made some television appearances thanks to his celebrity status and knowledge about food. He had his own show in 1998 on Channel 4 that was called Nigel Slater’s Real Food Show. He took a break from television for some time but came back to host a chat and food show for BBC One that was called A Taste of My Life.

He has two older brothers named John and Adrian. John was a neighbor’s child that had been adopted by Nigel’s parents before he was born. Nigel Slater resides in North London, where he enjoys taking care of his kitchen garden, often featured in his column.

Nigel Slater not only writes books, but serves as the art director for them too. His books feature food recipes that are uncomplicated and can be taken on by chefs of any level, whether experienced or amateur. The books are a simple and easy to follow guide with glossy photography that touch upon Slater’s early desire to learn how to cook.

His early books include The 30-Minute Cook, 30 Minute Suppers, Real Cooking, Real Good Food, and countless others. His early books The 30-Minute Cook and Real Cooking became quick bestsellers that helped establish Slater on the scene. However, it was not until he published his autobiography Toast that Slater truly exploded onto the national scene.

The book is called Toast: The Story of a Boy’s Hunger. The autobiography would go on to win awards and sell many copies. Initially published in October of 2004 in Britain, the book catapulted to the top of the bestseller list when it was featured by the Richard and Judy Book Club.

This moving memoir delves in Nigel Slater’s memories of childhood and his early love for food as well as the intimate workings of his family and their relationships as well as his own awareness of his sexual identity and the common aspects of growing up as a childhood in England in the sixties. The intimate memoir invites readers into a world that they would have never known existed as well as explains much of Slater’s personality, career, love of food, and his career.

This novel takes the reader to a specific time and place borne right out of Slater’s real memories. As a result, this nonfictional book transports the reader in a way that fiction would never be able to simply because the vivid retelling of Nigel’s life as a boy and teenager is so tremendously detailed and evocative.

The book goes into Nigel’s life with food and with his parents, his father and his asthmatic mother. His dad tended to be dominating and his mother was sickly, always having trouble breathing and having become nervous as a result. She could not cook much but she would always make toast for Nigel as something to eat, and as he says in the book, you can’t not love someone who makes you toast.

Nigel’s obsession with food starts early. Even though he craves elegant meals and recipes that are whipped up, his mother is only able to manage cooking canned food and toast– and even those she usually burns. Nigel stays up late, looking at pictures in cookbooks with a flashlight under the covers, dreaming of food.

When his mother passed away, he was young. His father continues to serve toast, which leaves Nigel feeling dejected. His friend suggests that he try to cook a meal for him as a way to try and build a relationship, but that is thwarted shortly after by the arrival of his new girlfriend, who takes over in that area and refuses to let Nigel occupy that role.

She is the family’s cleaning lady who alternately uses her sexuality and her cooking skills to snake her way into his father’s heart. The author told The Observer later that part of what attracted him to the food service industry was the fact that he at last felt like he had a family and that later when he distanced himself from his father and his hostile stepmother– feeling jubilant, and just wanting to cook after it was all said and done.

Toast was made into a movie that was released in 2011. The British film was directed and written by S.J. Clarkson and based on the novel Toast by Slater, drawing the majority of its inspiration from the novel and staying true to the book. The film was broadcast on BBC One on December 30, 2010. The film then was treated to a proper theatrical release on August 11, 2011. It also premiered in a gala at the Berlin Film Festival in 2011.

The movie’s cast included two actors to play a young Nigel. Oscar Kennedy portrayed the version of Nigel as a child, while Freddie Highmore played the teenager Nigel Slater. Ken Stott played Nigel’s father and Victoria Hamilton played his mother. Helena Bonham Carter played the villainous new stepmother, Joan.

The main filming locations were Worcestershire and Birmingham and while the film received critical praise, the children of the cleaning lady did object to the portrayal of their mother as a ‘tart’ and asserted that their stepfather had not died due to overfeeding as portrayed in the film but from heart problems during a game of tennis. Slater has refused to comment on the matter.

If Nigel Slater’s autobiography sounds interesting to you, pick up a copy of Toast and see what countless other readers have enjoyed about it! Follow that up with a viewing of the acclaimed film Toast and bring your Slater experience full circle with this enjoyable feature-length movie.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Nigel Slater

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