Something Fishy in Guardian’s Best Cookbooks

The Observer announced its top ten cook books on Sunday creating a stir in culinary circles.

Many of the big names missed out. Our Stephanie Alexander came in at 31 with her cooking bible, The Cook’s Companion, and relative newcomers like Jamie Oliver only got a single mention at 15 for Jamie’s Italy. Even Nigella barely scraped in at 42.

So who did make the top ten? Aussie chef David Thompson got a guernsey at 7 for his Thai Food and at number 1 was The French Menu Cookbook. Both great books but we couldn’t help but notice that Thompson himself is listed as a judge for the list.

The sauce thickens even more when you look at the judges who also have their books in the list: Sichuan Cookery by Fuchsia Dunlop at 9 and Roast Chicken and Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson at 5. Of course on a team of more than 15 judges there’s bound to be some overlap, but we wonder if Fuschia Dunlop is the best person to comment on her fellow judge David Thompson’s book as “one that opened the door to a new appreciation of Thai cookery among readers of the English language”. It seems a comment that lacks objectivity.

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