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book news coming like buses

I’ve been very quiet about this – mostly because for a long time it didn’t seem at all likely to actually happen – but I’ve been working away slowly on a new book for the past couple of years. The first half of that time was spent in ridiculous procrastination about what kind of book it would be, while the publisher probably thought I was going to deliver ‘War and Peace 2 – The Cabbage Years’.

Then I hit on the brilliant idea of doing a recipe book. You know – one of those quaint books with instructions for nice things to make for dinner, and a few useful bits of information about the ingredients and variations you might find useful if you don’t actually have cime di rapa growing in your back garden.

This extraordinary idea was inspired by two things. First, I made something for dinner one night that just completely encapsulated the dual pleasures of making simple food and sharing it with someone you love. You can talk about food all you like but the pleasure of it is in cooking, sharing and, most of all, eating. And that’s the second thing – there’s just so much yak-yak about food these days, so much print and so much talk. By now, all you foodies are shopping consciously, locally and seasonally. You’ve got tomatoes on the apartment balcony and chard in the flower beds. You’ve got more food books beside your bed than in the kitchen. I still have plenty to say about all that stuff but the din of preachers is getting a bit shrill and I hate shouting over a crowd. So it seems like a good time to shut up and make dinner.

This book of simple pleasures will be hitting the bookshelves in March next year. Photography and editing start soon and I’ll try to keep you up to date in my usual diligent way. I can’t tell you the title just yet, hopefully in a week or two.

Up until a week or so ago we – we being me and the entire Harper Collins corporation – couldn’t quite put our fingers on that snappy combination of words that would make the world rush to buy the book. Then it came to me, in a flash of blinding simplicity and obviousness (is that a word?). The reason I can’t tell it to you is because the corporation is mulling it over, passing it up and down the floors and departments of Fulham Palace Road while we await white smoke. If you think my title idea is brilliant – without actually knowing what it is – put a simple yes in the comment box. All votes will be published, good, bad or indifferent.

Meanwhile, book news coming a la buses, the last one – ‘wild garlic, gooseberries…and me’ – is to be published in paperback on the 18th August. It’s got a lovely pink cover and a giveaway price, so even if you’ve got it already you’ll probably want to buy a stack of them to give as casual gifts. Here’s a link to the Harper Collins page where you can get a sneak preview of the cover – www.harpercollins.co.uk…

Posted on: 10 July 2010

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#1 · Liz Weir
Saturday, 10 July, 2010

As someone who travels the length of Ireland to eat in Cafe Paradiso yout title will be fine for me! That would be a YES!

#2 · Monica Keane
Sunday, 11 July, 2010

Brilliant, I say, simply brilliant!!!!!!

#3 · Eilish Roche
Friday, 16 July, 2010

I have just booked for this evening and am really looking forward to the experience. And I say ‘Yes’!

#4 · Anne
Friday, 23 July, 2010

Haven’t yet been able to fly over for dinner at your table but so hoping it will one day be possible. Until we’ll have to eat this side of the ocean – And my response from the bit of time we’ve known each other is that I have full confidence in your title inspiration so ~ YES!

#5 · Sinead
Friday, 30 July, 2010

I was given one of your books for a present and I love your recipes. The new one looks great, very tranquil. YES, YES, YES! Great name. Also glad to hear I’m not the only one with cook books by my bed. My blog is www.feelingfoodblog.blogspot.com Check it out if you get a mo.

#6 · Mella
Sunday, 01 August, 2010

No matter the title – the name Denis Cotter speaks for itself – simply genius!

#7 · Jenny
Monday, 02 August, 2010

Ate in Cafe Paradiso for the first time last Friday and absolutely LOVED it, so any title gets a massive YES from me! Now just need an excuse to get back to Cork a.s.a.p.!

#8 · Yva
Monday, 02 August, 2010

I like the new colours for the cover!

#9 · Margaret
Tuesday, 10 August, 2010

Hurray for new book! Simple pleasures keenly awaited.

#10 · Louise
Friday, 13 August, 2010

I love your books (the BBQ ideas are always v popular), have been once to your fantastic restaurant and have just found your blog. YES (of course) to your title and I look forward to visiting again soon.

#11 · Pete
Sunday, 15 August, 2010

Yes. Absolutely. Eh well … unless you are thinking of something like “the joy of cooking” or “love me, love my spuds”, please say you aren’t…. BTW we had our first visit to CP on Thursday and then GNN on Friday – great idea to combine the two into what turned out to be an experience we won’t forget in a hurry and which I’m sure we will recount endlessly to anyone who’ll listen. Everyone made us feel right at home. And that’s even before we consider the food – our expectations were naturally sky high, and positively exceeded.

#12 · Rosemarie Mullin
Sunday, 19 September, 2010

A resounding yes! I treasure the two books I own. Amazing, inspirational and downright delicious food, thoughts and ideas. Recently lucky enough to have an organic farm start up within near my house and it is a great go to when my box arrives. Keep them coming. Thanks Rosemarie