How Nigel Slater's simple style became a recipe for success
by Simon Ward | 11 October 2012 | 1 commentTweet
As the cook and writer returns to our screens with new series Dish Of The Day, we look back at his long and varied career.
Nigel Slater is back on our TV screens with a new BBC series called Dish Of The Day. In it, he’ll demonstrate how to turn a weekly shop into seven meals – one for every day of the week.
Although he's a household name now, it took a long time for Slater to move onto the small screen. He started his culinary career in 1976 in the Savoy kitchens (no less) aged 18.
“I was serving wonderful food for businessmen and politicians while I was sleeping on someone's floor and eating McDonald's and toasted sandwiches in cafes, because I had no cooking facilities of my own,” he recalled in an interview in 2003.
He then roamed around the UK before finally settling back in London.
Change of career
His first foray into published recipe writing came via Homes And Gardens magazine, which was being set up by a customer of the café he worked in. He was originally commissioned to check the recipes she wanted to publish. “One time I said, "these are horrible", and she said, "you do better then. Go and do some of your own." So I did some and she liked them. And that's how it started,” he told the Observer in 2003.
In 1988, he became a food writer for Marie Claire and had his first book, Real Fast Food, published in 1992. His column in the Observer newspaper followed in 1993. “The writing just sort of happened,” he recently replied to a question on Twitter.
After much persuasion, he presented his first TV show, Nigel Slater’s Real Food, for Channel 4 in 1998.
Toast, his autobiographical account of how food provided an escape from his miserable childhood, was a best-seller and award winner, later being turned into a prime-time TV drama.
He’s carried his belief in food as being about more than just great taste throughout his whole career. “He believes that making something good to eat for yourself or for others can lift the spirits in the way little else can,” says the biography on his website.
Slater’s obviously genuinely thrilled that his simple, unfussy style of cooking continues to win so many admirers. His Twitter timeline is peppered with generous replies to people thanking him for a recipe or tweeting him a picture of their version of one of his dishes.
Doubtless he’ll have lots more to reply to once the new series is on screen.
What do you think of Nigel Slater and his recipes? Let us know in the Comments section below.