National Cookbook Month | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

National Cookbook Month

Redbrick Food tell you about their experiences with cookbooks

Lucy Durkin, Food Writer:

Last year I was in catered halls, so the thing I was most worried about in second year was not the influx of readings and essays, it was the fact that I actually had to be a proper person and feed myself. Ahh! My track record of cooking is embarrassing: this past summer alone, I managed to both burn and undercook rice (yes, the same pot of rice), nearly lose a finger chopping an onion and somehow I managed to set spaghetti on fire. Needless to say, my housemates were apprehensive about the idea of me cooking every night, especially given that seven of us share one oven.

I follow the really simple step-by-step recipes and I am still alive, haven't set myself on fire

So, in order to calm everyone down (but most especially my mum) I have been using the 'Nosh: For Students' cookbook in an attempt to try and not give myself food poisoning- and it's worked! Well, so far at least, but we are only a month in. Every night I follow the really simple step-by-step recipes and I am still alive, haven't set myself on fire, and even if I do say so myself, pretty darn impressed with my cooking. On every page there is a clear indicator of the difficulty level of the recipe (I am yet to go above 3 and the scale only goes to 5), as well as how much it costs per person, how many it serves and how long it takes to make. The book is full of cheap but tasty recipes with informative pictures that show you what the end result should look like. I love the variety it offers: for instance, last week I had pork noodle stir fry, Mediterranean chicken and spinach feta frittata, I would highly recommend this cookbook because it offers realistic recipes for us students that are actually yummy and cheap, and also, it has a handy section entitled 'How long can I keep this before it kills me?' which is a definite must for any student.

Emma Chambers, Food Editor:

Using just five ingredients, cleverly combined, you can conjure up the most exciting food, from a one-pan fish dish to lender lamb shoulder. That's the promise of Jamie Oliver's  Making good food with simple ingredients has never been so easy, every recipe in the book uses just five key ingredients which is good for those on a student budget, whilst at the same time allowing us students to create a plate of food fast. I believe that this book has not only taught me how easy it is to cook, but it has also taught me how to cook. I now feel that I can start to make my own recipes and know what spices compliment each other. "Take the stress out of mealtime with Jamie's most straightforward book yet."

Take the stress out of mealtime with Jamie's most straightforward book yet

I like the design of the book, each double page spread has pictures of the ingredients and the method on one page and a full picture of the finished dish on the next. I think this is really beneficial as it gives a clear idea what the end result looks like.

Caitlin Dickinson, Food Editor:


The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo. ‘Classic French Recipes with a fresh and simple approach’. I came across this book as a Christmas present off my parents. After being a slight Francophile myself and loving the culture and cuisine of France, it was deemed the best cooking book to buy me. I love the Parisian style of graphics, combined with a 1920-esque Gatsby edge which accompany all the recipes. The thought of French cooking is daunting to many due to the complexities of French baking and the origins of Michelin star restaurants, however the contemporary twists that this book offers makes it so easy to follow. My favourite recipe is most likely the Bangers and Mash with devils gravy, it tastes amazing and is so simple to make.



24th October 2017 at 9:00 am