Toast by Nigel Slater

Nigel Slater is a popular chef in the UK, who has written numerous cookery books and presents various TV shows about food. This is his memoir of growing up in the 1960s and 1970s.

I enjoyed it a great deal, particularly as he mentions food a lot and refers to some awful things that were very popular during those years. I am about his age, so they rang bells with me. Thinks like sandwich paste, a horrible concoction that came in small jars and must have been designed to remove the labour of slicing a tomato or cutting some cheese to make a sandwich. So much easier to spread the grey brown mixture straight onto the bread!

Or Fray Bentos pies, which came in a sort of metal case that was put straight into the oven. So, much nostalgic enjoyment for people of a certain age.

But he also deals with deeper matters, such as the death of his mother and his father’s remarriage, his emerging sexuality and the general unhappiness of his home. When he reaches his late teens and goes out to work, the reader shares his sense of escape, and his accounts of his time working as the lowest form of kitchen life are very funny.

A pleasure to read.


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