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Valentine Warner is a cook, food writer and broadcaster. He was a chef in London's kitchens for five years before running his own catering company. Valentine's deep love of cooking, nature and travel has seen him make eight series whilst contributing to others - his appearances have spanned BBC2, UKTV, Nat Geo and Fox International. His TV travels have seen him journey across Scandinavia, Canada and Europe. Valentine has written four cookery books, three of which he illustrated. He is also the co-founder of the Hepple distillery, the producers of Hepple Gin and Douglas fir Vodka.
Is it a cookbook? Is it a memoir? No, it’s a super genre-defying anthology that eloquently exemplifies the notion of “comfort food” in its most elemental form. As the author sets out in his introduction, “this is a story book with food in it, and, of course, that other essential embroidery for life, music.” What follows is a set of personal vignettes - stories about the author’s family, his food travel experiences, his professional insights - peppered with recipes that have accompanied pivotal life moments. One such recipe is “Pleasure and Pain Soup” that follows Warner’s recounting of a strange hangover experience that came in the gloomafter his father’s death. Sizzling with self-deprecating wit (“I just hope you find at least one thing, maybe two, that make the purchase worth it”, he addresses the reader) and humour (“If God is a vegan, well that’s me screwed”), this is a book to relish in a single cover-to-cover sitting, and to return to when in need of food-based consolation.