In praise of Diana Henry

We were just discussing our dream guest list (alive or dead) for a Buttercup Christmas lunch. George Harrison (circa 1970), Jermaine & Bret from Flight of the Conchords, Stephen Fry, Dorothy Parker and Caitlin Moran were all suggested. Then Claire mentioned her greatest culinary inspiration, Diana Henry.

Diana Henry's brilliant 'Food From Plenty' published by Mitchell Beazley

Diana Henry writes for The Telegraph and has written several genius cookbooks. If you pop in to the cafe you can have a look at our favourite Food from Plenty – it’s up on our cookbook shelf at the back of the cafe. It’s the one splattered with ingredients and looking well used (loved).

As the book says, “Leftovers are at the heart of this book. For example, you’ll find delicious roast dinners followed by an abundance of ideas for things to do with the cold meat the next day. Diana’s delicious recipes from all over the world, from Sicily to the Sahara, turn ‘going without’ on its head and make it a pleasure.’

It’s a book written for home cooks and it doesn’t expect you to go and spend hundreds of pounds on equipment and ingredients which you end up using only once.

It’s a beautifully made book with colourful & inspiring recipes. For a book about leftovers & waste it doesn’t feel depressingly frugal at all.

The Telegraph has lots of Diana’s recipes on their website. I like the idea of her Edible Christmas gifts: Scandinavian pepparkakor.

Diana Henry said in a recent interview, “I suppose food was one of those things I could see always made people happy, made people cheerful whatever else was going on. You can get quite attached to something if it does that.”

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.