Thursday 18 June 2009

Thriller writers love to cook...

In today's Independent newspaper, thriller writer John Walsh waxes lyrical about the republication of Len Deighton's Action Cook Book. It looks like John's been able to use his status as a fellow thriller writer to coax some more details from Len via the medium of a telephone interview with Len from his home in California, and he gets some new details from the author about his early life and motivations which led to the creation of the cook strips, and then this book.

For example, Deighton says: of his early kitchen education: "I was an art student on vacation, and got a job at the new Festival Hall's restaurant as a temporary kitchen porter. One day I was mopping the floor when the fish chef asked me if I would do some jobs for him, as his assistant hadn't arrived. My first task was skinning Dover soles. I must have been a good student because he then showed me how to fillet them. From then onwards, my days were spent as unofficial assistant to the fish chef, though I was still paid only porter's wages. I once asked my chef why he'd chosen me for this sudden elevation. He said everyone had noticed the way I 'hung around watching the cooks'. He was right. During my student vacations, I continued to work in kitchens in England and abroad, and I not only hung around watching the cooks, I became one of them."

Well worth checking out.

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