Cooking it old school

Food trends will come and go, but you can never beat doing it the old-fashioned way. Here’s five classic books by masters of the stove to get in your arsenal


Gallic gourmet

It’s not hard to feel at home with a cook who has a book called An Omelette and a Glass of Wine. But our hearts belong with the doyenne of the domestic kitchen, Elizabeth David, and her French Country Cooking. She brought dinners back to life in 1951, but these continental recipes still work beautifully today. £7.59, Penguin


Viva l’Italia!

Word is that every bride (or couple, we like to think) in Italy is given a copy of The Silver Spoon on their wedding day. Its not all tradition, though; the book was first released in 1950, but there have been various updates to the 2,000+ recipes to make sure beloved meals keep getting made the right way. £29.95, Phaidon


Nicely spiced

Madhur Jaffrey was training to be an actor at London’s RADA in the 1950s when she started to miss her mum’s cooking and had her send traditional recipes across from Delhi. Years and dips into different careers later, she published An Invitation to Indian Cooking in 1973; with clear instructions for newcomers and a proper glossary. £14.99, Cornerstone


Seasonal kitchen

Only the most beloved cooks get to be known by just one name. But Delia is the far less divisive Madonna (or Taylor, now?) of the culinary world, making the stuff you grew up with (because your parents probably learnt from her, too) and never afraid to cheat. Her trusty Complete How to Cook is exactly that; vast and timeless. £40, Ebury Publishing


Old faithful

So iconic she’s almost an old wives tale, Mrs Isabella Beeton wrote her original home cooking recipes in the 1860s. How to Cook (sorry, Delia, she pipped you) has been updated to suit 21st century kitchens, but keeps the dishes the same, because, at the end of the day, we all like the traditional stuff best. £30, Orion Publishing Co



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