Angela Clutton reflects on a spectacular feast to mark the club’s third birthday
There are certain things that every birthday party worth its salt needs, whatever age is being celebrated. And my goodness, the third birthday party of the Borough Market Cookbook Club had them all in spades. Did we have lovely company to share the evening with? Of course we did! It was the Cookbook Club members! The Market Hall played host to 100 of the 900 or so who have joined the club since we opened the doors to membership in April 2016. And as ever, all brought their open-spirit, generosity, and a desire to connect as a community over food.
A veritable feast
They brought food, too. A veritable feast of dishes, cooked up by the members from two brilliant Diana Henry cookbooks, How to Eat a Peach and A Change of Appetite. Enjoyed with lovely wines provided by our ever-generous, ever-beloved supporters Borough Wines, who have from the get-go of this adventure made sure no member has ever gone thirsty at a Cookbook Club event.
There were activities to keep everyone entertained through the night: a busker, a cookbook swap-shop, a recipe line of member cooking hints, and a blackboard for everyone to share their views on the feasting dishes. No birthday party is complete without birthday cake, of course. And we had the cake of cakes, made by one of the Cookbook Club members, John Holland, who was among the very first members to join up (the fourth, in fact!) and came to our very first event. It was wonderfully fitting that he baked and decorated this birthday extravaganza for us, festooned as it was with the books we have covered and iconic Cookbook Club moments.
A hint of nostalgia
I’ll admit that I like a party with a hint of nostalgia, too. So the gathered members indulged me in a bit of a trip down memory lane as we enjoyed a whistle-stop reminder of all the books we’ve done so far, remembering that it all kicked off in May 2016 with Anna Jones’s A Modern Way to Eat, and that the 34 books (by my reckoning) that the Cookbook Club members have shared together range from Elizabeth David, to Olia Hercules, Nigel Slater, Yotam Ottolenghi, Julia Child, Anna del Conte and many others.
But enough with the looking back. Birthdays are about looking ahead too. We have the new season of events to look forward to, featuring books by Sybil Kapoor, Rick Stein and Margaret Costa. As ever, representing what we hope is a mix of cooking styles, times and personalities.
There is much more to come from the Cookbook Club. So all at the Market hope you continue to enjoy being part of the fun.
Happy Birthday to us!
Saturday 18th & Tuesday 28th May: Sight Smell Touch Taste Sound: A New Way to Cook by Sybil Kapoor
Tuesday 11th June & Saturday 22nd June: From Venice to Istanbul by
Tuesday 16th & Saturday 20th July:
Four Seasons Cookery Book by Margaret Costa