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Genesis of a cookery writer

19 February 2007

'Early in 1990, and quite out of the blue, I received a letter from Louise Haines, then commissioning editor at the publishers Michael Joseph, asking me if I had ever thought of writing a book. She had read a few pieces I had written for a food magazine and seemed to think I 'had a book in me'...

Seven books later, Louise Haines is still my editor, though we long ago jumped publishers to Fourth Estate. It now takes me five years to put a cookbook together rather than one, and it seems to take us as long to decide on the typeface as it took to write the whole of Real Fast Puddings.

'Dear Louise, thank you for refusing to take no for an answer. For ignoring my in-built hesitance and for giving me the confidence to put pen to paper. And thank you for getting that first little book into people's kitchens.'

Nigel Slater, author of Real Fast Food and seven other bestsellers, in the Observer Food Magazine