Super healthy Daniel once told me he only eats for function, to which I scoffed and asked him to pass me the chicken chow mein. Like many, food plays a vital part in my life. I LOVE food and even my hips prove it. Tastes, textures, the smell, you name it, for sure I’m a foodie through and through. The highlight of my month is date night with my girlfriend Rosie because not only is she an ace friend but I guarantee the evening will be a journey of the senses wherever we end up meeting, (she’s like a walking Square Meal magazine).
As I was waiting for Dani Tucker (daughter of Shally), my stomach rumbling already thinking about my next meal, I couldn’t wait to hear all about her book, The Social Kitchen. I’d already seen the write up in ‘The Telegraph’ and saw a cool Insta pic from Rosie Fortescue (which has already had 1,965 likes) so I knew it was going to be brilliant.
For those who don’t already know, this elegant cook book has been created by Dani and her family in memory of Shally Tucker, a Jewish Mother from London who was originally from South Africa. Shally very sadly passed away and during her life, suffered various auto-immune diseases. Two years on, the book has been stunningly created in her memory and what’s touching is that all of the proceeds go to Dermatrust to fund research for skin diseases, (The Dermatitis and Allied Diseases Research Trust).
So what makes this book so special? It’s Shally of course. As Dani animatedly told me, their mother’s kitchen was (and still is to this day), the very heart and soul of their home. It was always bustling and busy, always cooking going on with a plentiful supply of food to go around for not only family but the abundance of friends and visitors that stopped by. The cookbook is sophisticated, just as I imagine Shally to have been and it sensitively talks about her life with intimate photos and passages. It truly epitomises her desire to please and that people enjoy her food. Even just flicking through the pages, I already have that excited butterfly feeling in my stomach and an urge to get the ingredients together (simple and not too fussy) and start cooking up a storm in the kitchen. By the way, I must put it out there, I’m not usually one to cook because I love eating out but this book will make even students and amateur cooks motivated to follow the recipes.
The heavy weight book is full of humour, wisdom and is all about entertaining. So whether you’re in the mood for eating with a partner or eating with friends, you won’t have to stress about what to cook, the difficulty is choosing which recipe! Whether it’s a sumptuous pot-roast chicken, comforting hot courgettes and potatoes or a more adventurous ginger ale brisket, believe me when I say The Social Kitchen offers everything.
The book features not only recipes and a heart warming personal story but also table decoration, flower arrangement and even some of her crafty ideas. All of which built the foundations of The Social Kitchen, in which Dani, her sister and her brother grew up and love.
This is the perfect tribute to a flawless wife, mother and daughter, my only bad thing to say is that I’m sad I never got the chance to meet such an inspiring lady.
You can buy The Social Kitchen online for £25 and don’t forget, all of the proceeds go to charity. Have you read it?