Saturday, 11 February 2012

Bloggerview with the founders of

By way of introduction, is one of the worlds most comprehensive listings of recipes. In their own words, below they let you know how it works.

First of all we are not a recipe website, we don't publish the recipes - that would be breaking the copyright of these great cookbook authors. The purpose of Eat Your Books is to help you find recipes in your own cookbooks and magazines and the blogs you follow. We have captured information on 560,000 (so far) so you can easily search for recipes. Here's how it works:
  • Simply Register. You can have a free membership with up to 5 books or choose a monthly ($2.50) or annual ($25) paid membership.
  • Select the cookbooks you've got on your bookshelf from our library of over 96,000 cookbooks.
  • Start searching for recipes - you can search on recipe name, ingredients, occasion, food type, ethnicity, book title or author.
  • You can add recipes to a shopping list and Eat Your Books will print out the ingredients you'll need for those recipes.
  • You can tag books and recipes with Bookmarks, which is a great way to organize your favorite recipes, ones you want to do later or any other categories you can think of.
  • Chat on the Forum with other members who share a love of cooking and cookbooks.  See their comments and ratings on books and recipes.

Fiona Nugent co founder of

Jane Kelly co founder of

Name and occupation
Fiona – Co-founder of
Jane Kelly, Co-founder of Eat Your Books

What would you like to plug?
 F. Our website – it’s quite simply the best way to manage and search through your recipes, in your cookbooks, magazines, personal recipes or your online favourites.
 J.Eat Your Books, the only website in the world where you can search for recipes in your cookbooks, magazines, favourite online sites, and your own personal recipes.

Name your three desert island ingredients 
 F. Olive oil, maldon salt, fudge
 J. Olive oil, wine and chocolate (life is better with all three)

Your best cooking tip.
 F. Keep it simple and use the best ingredients you can.
 J. Read through the recipe before you decide to cook it – you don’t want surprises like “Now leave in the fridge overnight”.

What is your favourite snack?
F. Nuts – any nuts
J. Depends on my mood and how healthy I’m being at the time – almonds, string cheese or chocolate.

What would you have for your last supper?
F. Crayfish, Wagyu beef, pavlova
J. Oysters and champagne, wild salmon with potato rõsti and roasted asparagus, and a very decadent chocolate dessert, maybe The chocolate bar with ginger ice cream from Dinner.

What foodstuff would you banish to room 101?
F. Brussels sprouts and anything that doesn’t contain ingredients that were once living.
J. All kids’ foods loaded with E numbers.

What's your favourite restaurant?
F. Ones I’d love to go back to are PerSe in New York and The Ledbury in London.  In Auckland it would be Merediths.
J. In London The Ledbury, in Boston where I now live, Lumière.

What's your favourite tipple? 
F. A great Pinot Noir from Otago, South Island, New Zealand.
J. G&T in the summer, rich red wine in the winter.

Which book gets you cooking ?
F. Ottolenghi’s Plenty has got me cooking more imaginatively with vegetables
J. That’s a tough one since I own over 1,200 cookbooks.
For everyday cooking I love the trio of Nigella, Jamie Oliver and Nigel Slater. Otherwise it’s often my latest cookbook that I’m giving my attention to – I’m a cookbook tart that way.

What comfort food comforts you when you are sick?
F. I’m never sick – but anything with dulce de leche
J. Soup and bread.

Kitchen implement you can't do with out.
F. Sharp knife
J. Microplane grater – I use it for Parmesan, garlic, ginger, zest.  Everyone should have one.

What's your dream dinner party line-up? 
F. Me and George Clooney
J. If someone else did the cooking, as it would be too intimidating to cook for them – Thomas Keller (as long as I could sit next to him), Heston Blumenthal, Nigella Lawson (though she’d be too much competition for Thomas’s affections).

And what would you cook for them?
F. If it’s a dream could I get Thomas Keller to cook it
J. No, I’m not doing the cooking though I think I could manage cocktails.

What is your favourite cooking aroma ?
F. Baking
J. Baking cookies, whoops I’ve gone Yank of course I mean biscuits.

What was your childhood teatime treat?
F. Any home baking
J. Scottish shortbread, my Grandma’s recipe (which I still make every Christmas)

What was the first thing you learnt to cook?
F. A great Bolognese sauce – at school.  Couldn’t get in the kitchen at home as Jane was always there.
J. I started at 5 with a full adult baking set, no kid’s tools for me. I probably cooked lots of other things before this, but the thing I learned that impressed me first was Bakewell tart.

What was there first thing you taught your children to cook? 
F. Chocolate cake – they’re great bakers.  They reckon it will be a good money maker at Uni
J. Pasta (since I knew they would eat it)

What was your mothers signature dish and do you try to copy it?
F. Pavlova – and yes I make a mean one.
J. Spaghetti Bolognese and yes, I cook it to this day.

What would you make to impress your partner?
F. Roast chicken – a man of simple tastes
J. Since we are getting divorced, nothing!  My next partner will be someone interested in food and wine, unlike the ex. Most things I cook are impressive (to me at least!) but my best are desserts so something flashy there.

Where do you go for the best fish and chips?
F. My local – happens to be the best "fush en chups” in Auckland, eating them on the beach watching the sun go down.  Chips are always kumara (sweet potato),
J. When I lived in Kilburn and Queen’s Park it was Nautilus on Fortune Green Road, every Friday night.  Now in Boston, nowhere.  Legal Seafoods isn’t bad, but it’s not the same (and no mushy peas).

What was your most memorable meal?
F. Last year when Heston Blumenthal and Thomas Keller cooked a meal together in NZ and I was privileged to be there.  I met them both – I will never forget it.
J. So many over the years – 10 course lunch at The Ledbury in April was AMAZING, Per Se in NYC is very special, and I can still remember a wild mushroom risotto 20 years ago at Alastair Little when he had his Frith Street restaurant.

What was your biggest culinary disaster?
F. Never served up one – probably because don’t take enough risks.  There was a time I forgot to turn down the oven after I put Nigella’s chocolate pavlova in, came back an hour later to a disgusting burnt mass of sugar.
J. If I have ever had any, I’ve wiped them from my memory.

What's the worst meal you've ever had?
F. Years ago in Greece, whole prawns in tomato sauce .
J. Much harder than best meal - again I’ve wiped the memories away.  Probably any food eaten as fuel and nothing else, like at a motorway service station (particularly 25 years ago).

What's the most outlandish thing you've ever eaten?
F. Cow’s udder in Buenos Aires, there was every other part of the cow on the plate as well, and not a lot I recognised.
J. Fish lips?  I have never turned down an item of food though I’ve never been offered still-twitching fish.

Who's your food hero/food villain?
F. Jamie Oliver – shown there is no excuse for anyone to claim they can’t cook.
J. Hero: Jamie Oliver for his commitment as much as his recipes.  Villain: Sandra Lee who you may not know in the UK but check out her Kwanzaa and Hanukkah cakes on YouTube.

Nigella or Delia?
F. Nigella – but it was Delia before she came along
J. Nigella all the way though I don’t watch her TV shows which would maybe change my mind.

Gin or Vodka?
F. Gin – tall glass, lots of ice, tonic, slice of lemon.  No other way.
J. Gin, I wouldn’t turn down vodka but don’t quite see the point of it.

Muesli or fry-up?
F. Muesli – has to be a really good one with lots of nuts
J. Muesli if it has lots of nuts and is crunchy, a fry-up if it contains black pudding.

Wine or beer?
F. Wine
J. Wine

KFC or Burger King?
F. Haven’t had either for years – but used to enjoy KFC, though don’t think I’ve ever eaten it sober.
J. I'd rather starve

What do you consider the best of the best of British?
F. Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding – my kids love it and think of it as British food. 
J. Bakewell tart, back to my earliest baking success.

What's the best/worst thing about the British restaurant scene?
F. What I miss most are the fantastic ethnic restaurants – cheap and expensive ones.   I hate paying for and eating bad food – seems like too many bad restaurants survive in Britain because people are prepared to accept it.
J. As an occasional visitor to London now, the best is the fantastic range and the worst is how bloody expensive they are.

What do you think will be the next big thing?
F. Great cafés everywhere – I hear there are kiwis setting up in London to show you how it’s done.   
J. You’re asking a woman who 15 years ago thought Apple would never succeed. So better pass on that one.

What would you do if you could choose any other career?
F. This is my other career that I chose.
J. Sort of feel I’ve done that – I’ve worked in the music business, TV, and now website/food.  My fantasy profession would be pastry chef but I’m not sure my feet could take it.

Make a wish
F. That EatYourBooks is a huge success in the next 12 months
J. That cookbook lovers the world over discover Eat Your Books, we can employ some more staff, and I can get a life.

Well to help them on their way, go to their website and have a look for yourselves.

1 comment: