You may not know her name, but Georgina Hayden’s debut cookbook Stirring Slowly may become your new kitchen staple. After studying Fine Art she worked as a food writer and stylist before putting in ten years with Jamie Oliver’s food team. Feeling less like the product of a big brand machine, this book seems to be a culmination for her of real passion, enthusiasm and hard graft, with wholesome dishes, fresh flavour combinations and a notably relaxed approach placing her nearer the Slater and early-Nigella end of the scale.
Many food books on the market recently have had quite a narrow appeal, we’re particularly saturated in healthy eating trends right now – all great if you plan on aspirationally ‘clean eating’ for more than three days, but where’s the enjoyment in that? And yet the books which want to cover everything can spread themselves too thinly, feeling a bit old-fashioned or too family-orientated. This seems to hit somewhere nicely in between; a fantastic, modern all-rounder with yes, some trendy healthy recipes, but also quick, inventive dinners and proper hearty dishes for those weekends when decent time in the kitchen is a rare luxury (shout out to the delicious looking slow Black Dal and surprising but rather top inclusion of Lancashire Pie Barm). It has that stylish, food-blogger feel but with the experience to back it up, giving us a range of impressive yet uncomplicated food with an emphasis on the enjoyment of the process. I don’t even like baking but I feel I’ll be all over the Pumpkin and Ginger Layer Cake this autumn.
You can detect a thread of the Jamie influence with some serious crowd-pleasing recipes, but she exerts a more cool, forward-thinking style of her own with a distinct personal touch, all of which should carry her to big things.