The London Review of Breakfasts

"Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper." (Francis Bacon)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Breakfast Bible: what people are saying (part two)

Earlier round-up here. Buy The Breakfast Bible at any bookshop or online, for example here, here or here.

Jonathan Gibbs, The Independent: "If cook books work then it’s in giving some kind of context to the recipes they contain. Now, obviously for some people, a picture of a cheeky Essex lad perched on a scooter, or a culinary goddess coyly sampling her wares gives all the context you need – flicking through one of these books is like flicking through a magazine. Alternatively you might want some information to browse, which is where The Breakfast Bible seems to offer a neat solution. Written by Seb Emina ‘and’ Malcolm Eggs (the same person) based on ‘their’ London Review of Breakfasts blog, it’s essentially a cross between a recipe book and Schott’s Miscellany, with its recipes interspersed with essays, facts and diversions. I particularly like the ‘Songs to Boil an Egg to’." [Read more]

Alex Heminsley and Claudia Winkleman, BBC Radio 2 Arts Show: "We are literally weeping! Weeping with joy."

Josh Raymond, The Times Literary Supplement: "Emina devotes a chapter to each of "The Magic Nine" components of a full English fry-up and goes on to describe "fast-breakers" from around the world, interspersing recipes and advice on buying ingredients with short essays on subjects ranging from reading tea leaves to breakfast proverbs. "Songs to Boil an Egg to" stands out by providing pieces of music whose durations correspond to cooking times (Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" will, ironically, yield only "medium"). Other, more complex, directions produce flavoursome results – the "omelette Arnold Bennett" combines haddock, gruyere and nutmeg – and the language is toothsome too. The supermarket cereal aisle is "a dazzling cardboard Manhattan" and bacon is "the last temptation of the vegetarian and the Jew". Of eating breakfast in bed, we are asked, "are you feeling decadent and pampered, or imprisoned and a little squalid? This attractively produced book is deceptively ambitious."

Seb Emina (co-author), The Guardian Review: "Breakfast is not love, or war, or death, or life. It is not one of the great themes of literature." [Read more]

David Leafe, The Daily Mail: "Nutritionists might shudder at some of his choices, but Churchill obviously appreciated what they have been telling us for years — that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, or the ‘sexiest’, according to the American poet Anne Sexton. That message is at the heart of an entertaining new book called The Breakfast Bible, written by food journalist Seb Emina. The most fascinating passages describe the breakfasts enjoyed by famous people over the centuries." [Read more]

Nikki Spencer, Living South (cover story): "It's a practical book, but an entertaining book, too, including good songs to boil an egg to (Roxette's Listen to Your Heart, apparently) and a page of Freud's Breakfast Dream."

Kerstin Rodgers, Ms Marmite Lover: "Breakfast is a neglected meal in terms of cookery books, until the twin-headed Seb/Malcolm wrote the recently released and rather brilliant 'The Breakfast Bible'. Written in customary witty style, with great research into the origins of breakfast food stuffs, musings on the philosophy of the first meal, this book reminds me of Schotts Miscellaney, lots of fun facts but with recipes." [Read more]

Carolyn Hart, The Lady: "The Breakfast Bible, published by Seb Emina, founder of the cheekily named (given the august presence of the similarly titled London Review Books) The London Review Of Breakfast blog. Emina and his merry gang of breakfast bloggers - Blake Pudding, HP Seuss, Poppy Tartt and Malcolm Eggs - have been described as a 'band of breakfast-obsessed radicals', bestowing the same amount of serious attention on breakfast as you might on Ian McEwan's latest novel..." [Read more]

Hannah Rose, Capture the Castle: "Finally getting to live my breakfast tray dream, thanks to a generous Easter Bunny and Freedom Furniture. I can't even begin to relay the delight when I received my gift - the gift of breakfast - a stripey oversized mug, the glorious, glorious, glorious (the third glorious is necessary, trust me) Breakfast Bible by Seb Emina." [Read more]

James Ramsden, Guardian Word of Mouth blog: "The Great British fry-up? This is the most overrated of British dishes, the scourge of the breakfast table, and the cruellest of ends for some of our finest produce [...] 'I find your views shocking and upsetting,' says Seb Emina, author of the Breakfast Bible. 'Fry-ups are a way of showing off good ingredients. You take bacon, egg, black pudding, mushrooms etc, cook them to your liking, and arrange them on a plate. That's it.' But that's not a dish. It's a few ingredients, cooked identically, then forced to compete for your attention. Perhaps 'British breakfast mezze' might make a better epithet. 'It's interactive, customisable,' argues Emina..." [Read more]

Katy Salter, Guardian Word of Mouth blog: "So if cleaning the kitchen afterwards is the first rule of successful breakfast in bed, what are the others? 'Arrange everything properly,' says Seb Emina, author of The Breakfast Bible. 'Pillows are important – they need a decent set to support both back and head when they are sitting upright. You don't want to be at less than a 90-degree angle when you're eating. Don't forget the small touches either – flowers, music and a handmade card or drawing.'" [Read more]

Cool Culinaria: "Author Seb Emina, who writes a blog about our first meal of the day under his alter ego Malcolm Eggs, has written a great history of the breakfast in his book "The Breakfast Bible". Along with ways to time your boiled egg to perfection – by listening to particular songs – it’s a fount of information about other people’s breakfast habits." [Read more]

India Knight, on Twitter: "A small masterpiece." [Link]

Stylist Magazine: "Every witty, wise and wonderful thing you can do with words about the first meal of the day is found in The Breakfast Bible."

Maddy Hubbard, The Mancunion: "Clearly, this is a man that respects breakfasts and treats it with due reverence and sincerity. One would be a fool to visit London without referring to the London Review of Breakfasts, and now his new book will enable lovers of breakfast to create the perfect breakfast at home as well." [Read more] 

Clara Silva, i Newspaper (Portugal): "'Eggs and Sausage', de Tom Waits, 'Breakfast In America', dos Supertramp, 'Nice Girls Don’t Stay for Breakfast', de Julie London, ou 'St Alphonso’s Pancake Breakfast', de Frank Zappa. Se está farto de pequenos-almoços silenciosos, inspire-se nas músicas da playlist de Malcolm Eggs, o alter-ego de Seb Emina, o autor do livro 'The Breakfast Bible', o título essencial daquela que dizem ser a refeição mais importante do dia." [Read more]


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