I was given a copy by the editor, Tim Hayward, a couple of weeks ago at, of all things, a family birthday party. It was pretty, it was about food so of course I loved it!
In homage to the tactile joys of eating and cooking, the magazine is beautifully presented, like a cross between an academic journal and The Believer. The thick, matt paper; the uncluttered design; the lovely colours; the handy size all add to the pleasure of reading – Eat Me Daily has some photos of the pages.
In this issue there are articles about cooking with tobacco, on the demise of the dinner party, a history of the Half Hundred (an inter-war dining club for Hampstead intellectuals), an unpublished review of Fanny Craddock by Elizabeth David unearthed at the Guildhall Library, a short story about a malignant quail and many other features by both established and new writers.
My favourite, though, has got to be Hayward’s piece on Vincent Price, “Theatre of Food”. We all know Price for his classic horror performances but did you know that he was also an art collector, gourmet and author of many cookbooks?
He was clearly a man who put his enthusiasm into all that he loved.
Unfortunately, the Vincent Price cookery show is only available on tapes at the BFI archive and his cookbooks from the 1960s and 70s are all out of print but WFMU has an mp3 of Price telling us how to make Viennese stuffed eggs taken from his International Cooking Course LP. And here’s a video of him preparing fish with Wolfgang Puck on TV.
You can buy Fire & Knives online by subscription.