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Tony Bilson

The cookery sections of bookshops are crammed with bright new titles, but how necessary are they? Inevitably, they are repetitive – how many ways are there to boil an egg, make stock, prepare a vinaigrette? – and presentation is often privileged over content. In such a crowded market, awash with flashy covers, glossy photography, and populist titles acclaiming the latest celebrity chef, or niche cuisine, how can we sort out the cream from the whey? How can we be confident that books will edify or endure? Gratifyingly, some publishers are reprinting older works, providing a balance between the new and inventive, the tried and trusted.

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