'I am going to cook you the best meal you have ever tasted in your life…' Harry Palmer to Sue Lloyd in ‘The Ipcress Files’'Len was a great cook, a smashing cook. I learned a lot about food from playing Harry Palmer' Michael CaineIf you look carefully at Harry Palmer's kitchen in the classic film ‘The Ipcress Files’ you will notice a newspaper pinned on the wall. This is on'I am going to cook you the best meal you have ever tasted in your life…' Harry Palmer to Sue Lloyd in ‘The Ipcress Files’'Len was a great cook, a smashing cook. I learned a lot about food from playing Harry Palmer' Michael CaineIf you look carefully at Harry Palmer's kitchen in the classic film ‘The Ipcress Files’ you will notice a newspaper pinned on the wall. This is one of Len Deighton's classic cookstrips, the series that ran for two years when he was the Observer food writer. Because before he became famous as the thriller writer of his generation, Len Deighton had trained as a pastry chef. He was also a brilliant graphic artist (his credits include the first ever UK cover for Kerouac's ‘On The Road’). ‘The Action Cookbook’ is the perfect mix of these two passions, created for the hero of his third passion.‘The Action Cook Book’ was once an instructional book for the bachelor male – a guide to sophisticated cooking for the would-be Harry Palmer. It now has a great following as a fabulous piece of nostalgia as well as retaining real credibility as a genuinely useful cook book.If you need to create the basic wine cellar (basic to Len Deighton – decidedly aspirational to the rest of us), or to learn how to cook full-bodied meals with a seductive touch (how could you resist brain soufflé? – ‘brains are a very good constituent for a souffle. They are delicious fried, or in any of the piquant wine sauces’), then this is the book for you....
|Title||:||Action Cook Book|
|Number of Pages||:||320 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Action Cook Book Reviews
I was surprised and intrigued to see this book listed in The Guardian's '50 Best Cookbooks of All Time' a few years ago. Surprised because I only knew Len Deighton as the author of trashy thrillers and intrigued because I then learnt that he had once been a food writer for The Observer before becoming a successful novelist in the mid-sixties. Before that, he had apparently had a short career as a graphic illustrator and his columns took the form of graphic panels like this one:One of these columns is pinned to the notice board in Harry Palmer's kitchen in the film version of Deighton's The Ipcress File and much is made of that connection in this reprint, which features blurb from the film's star Michael Caine.The second half of the book reprints many of these strips with accompanying notes whilst the first half contains more general, short, pieces about such things as equipping a kitchen and - for those who truly wish to emulate Harry Palmer (or, perhaps, Austin Powers) - which wines to buy and keep when first laying down a cellar.That last bit is something of a clue as to the tone of the book as a whole - it's aimed squarely at bachelors who might want to impress the ladies with their cooking skills (as the cover image also suggests) although, obviously, anyone first embarking on culinary adventures might find something to gain from the text.It has to be said though, that I did find some of the advice as dated as its near half-century age would suggest and its tone almost as kitsch as its cover. The book focusses almost exclusively on French haute-cuisine - fashionable at the time but no longer so and not to my taste. I found the book in a charity shop for £1 and remembered my earlier intrigue but I'm glad I didn't pay any more for it.
My god. It's perfect. For the utterly clueless in the kitchen (like myself), there are chapters on all the things that should be a required part of our formal education but aren't, like "Cooking Terms" and "Buy These Items Each Week". The Bachelor Food (The Quick Cook) chapter helpfully eases you in, and once all the basics have been covered for us clueless newbies, then there is the bulk of the book, the "action cook strips" themselves, full of recipes and helpful commentary on foods that I don't know how to pronounce. (Where does one even buy calves' brains?)
Possibly the most useful and hilarious cookbook ever. "... saffron if you are rich or turmeric to pretend you are rich." I loved it!
Deighton before The Ipcress File.Compiled partly from his ' cookstrips ' in a popular English broadsheet he shows how to prepare and cook a variety of meals for those who aspire to more than bacon and eggs! With additional text on compiling a basic food stock, kitchen equipment, bar stock, wine appreciation, cigar ditto etc., it's brilliant although parts are now a little dated.I am lucky enough to have two copies of the first edition in hardback, the first in paperback and the new hardback. Trivia : in The Ipcress film you will see some of the cookstrips pinned to the wall in Palmers kitchen and it's Deighton who cracks and shells the eggs.
Good re-edition of the original, which I have and is pretty tatty now. Well used.
This is the only cookbook I read as a kid and liked. For an idea of it:http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images...
'Dried figs: Ugh.'Hysterical.
Strangely useful retro cookbook.