Doing Without Delia – Hot off the presses and clogging up stores

Oh frabjus day! Calloo callay! The paperback of my memoir of my time training to be a chef in Paris and working in a couple of the city’s most famous Michelin starred restaurants is out today (it was first published as Sacré Cordon Bleu but, on the advice of various booksellers and, indeed, the Bookseller, my publisher, Vintage, felt something a bit punchier was needed for the paperback – and who was I to argue?). 

Excitingly, Waterstones have decided to include it in their 3 for 2 offers – apparently over 90 per cent of their sales come from books on these front tables, so I have put the Crystal on ice in anticipation of the pantechnicons of money surely coming my way.

The book – the title refers to the bonfire of recipe books in the opening chapter – also got a nice review in the Guardian on Saturday, referencing Bill Buford and Peter Mayle, to add to the nice Daily Mail comparison with Anthony Bourdain a while back - heroes all, of course (Mayle perhaps not so much for his writing – although, of course, we all enjoyed Wicked Willie – but more for his complete dedication to a life of utter pleasure), and very flattering even to be named anywhere in proximity to them.

When I’ve figured out the buttons you will be able to hear extracts from the BBC Radio 4 abridgment of the book for Book of the Week (which ran in Feb 2008) in the sidebar to the right.

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