Sunday, May 17, 2009
My new cheese book
I've just been reading through the proofs of my new cheese book which comes out this October. It's called - rather intimidatingly - Fiona Beckett's Cheese Course and it looks amazing.
It's a standing joke in our family that whenever someone picks up one of my books they say "What beautiful photos!" Of course, that's the worst thing you can say to a writer - a bit like saying to a photographer "Great captions!" The author is the person who comes up with the whole structure of the book, painstakingly researches it and creates the recipes and yet it's the photographer and the art director who ultimately bring it to life.
I can't feel resentful though. Steve Painter of Ryland Peters & Small, who I've worked with on several of my books, is a genius and says himself it's his best book yet!
What is it all about? Well, it's a bit different from most cheese books on the market in that it's not an encyclopaedia of the worlds' cheeses, more a guide on how to enjoy and serve cheese to best effect. It's got some genuinely new ideas for entertaining with cheese (the cheese and wine party re-invented), lots of cheese and drink pairings (not just wine) and some really good new recipes (though I immodestly say so myself) including a terrific macaroni cheese.
The publishing timetable for full-colour books is weird. I finished it way back last autumn and I now won't see it again till September. It's almost like looking at it with new eyes, as if it's been written by someone else. Finishing a book is always a bit of an anti-climax. I always inclined to feel it didn't quite live up to the ideas I was carrying about in my head. Seeing it again makes me feel that actually it's pretty good. I hope you agree when you see it!