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Nothing Fancy

Nothing Fancy
Recipes and Recollections of Soul-Satisfying Food, New Edition

Featuring new and revised recipes, photos, and bêtes noires, this culminating book of an illustrious career presents the favorite dishes and personal stories of the world’s foremost authority on traditional Mexican cooking and one of its most-celebrated food writers

Series: William and Bettye Nowlin Endowment

April 2016
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232 pages | 8 x 10 | 11 b&w photos, 5 b&w illus. |

Diana Kennedy is the world’s preeminent authority on authentic Mexican cooking and one of its best-known food writers. Renowned for her uncompromising insistence on using the correct local ingredients and preparation techniques, she has taught generations of cooks how to prepare traditional dishes from the villages of Mexico, and in doing so, has documented and helped preserve the country’s amazingly diverse and rich foodways. Kennedy’s own meals for guests are often Mexican, but she also indulges herself and close friends with the nostalgic foods in Nothing Fancy.

This acclaimed cookbook—now expanded with new and revised recipes, additional commentary, photos, and reminiscences—reveals Kennedy’s passion for simpler, soul-satisfying food, from the favorite dishes of her British childhood (including a technique for making clotted cream that actually works) to rare recipes from Ukraine, Norway, France, and other outposts. In her inimitable style, Kennedy discusses her addictions—everything from good butter, cream, and lard to cold-smoked salmon, Seville orange marmalade, black truffle shavings, escamoles (ant eggs), and proper croissants—as well as her bêtes noires—kosher salt, nonfat dairy products, cassia “cinnamon,” botoxed turkeys, and nonstick pans and baking sprays, among them. And look out for the ire she unleashes on “cookbookese,” genetically modified foods, plastic, and unecological kitchen practices! The culminating work of an illustrious career, Nothing Fancy is an irreplaceable opportunity to spend time in the kitchen with Diana Kennedy, listening to the stories she has collected and making the food she has loved over a long lifetime of cooking.

  • Foreword by Frances McCullough
  • Acknowledgments
  • Part I: Recollections
    • Introduction
    • My Bêtes Noires
    • The Making of a Palate
    • Addictions
    • Equipment I Simply Cannot Do Without
    • Ingredients
    • Cookbookese
    • My Bêtes Noires Vertes
  • Part II: Recipes
    • Appetizers
    • Soups
    • Vegetables and Salads
    • Light Dishes
    • Cold Meats
    • Fish
    • Meats and Poultry
    • Yeast Breads
    • Desserts
    • Tea
    • Crispy Things
    • Drinks and Natural Remedies
    • Preserves
    • Christmas
  • Sources
  • Index

Kennedy has written eight classic books on the regional foods of Mexico, including the James Beard Cookbook of the Year Oaxaca al Gusto: An Infinite Gastronomy, The Essential Cuisines of Mexico, The Art of Mexican Cooking, and My Mexico. Her many honors include induction into the James Beard Foundation Cookbook Hall of Fame, a Life Achievement Award from the International Association of Cooking Professionals, the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle, and the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).


“Diana’s recipe for her most personal cookbook includes equal parts passion, creativity, and humor, with a soupçon of provocation. I love the way she’s so blunt in her comments about food and the food world, her bêtes noires, in this book—it’s exactly the way we cooks talk to each other in private, and it rarely gets into our books.”
Paula Wolfert, author of The Food of Morocco

“Nothing Fancy gives us access to the razor-sharp wit and wisdom of one of the great intuitive cooks of our time. Diana Kennedy knows more than you and me, and perhaps the most important reason is—now, listen up, all you good home and professional cooks—she knows how to use salt, which could hardly be more important. Diana was long ago crowned the queen of the cocina, the uncompromising magician of not only Mexican food but of everything she touches.”
Zak Pelaccio, chef and owner of Fish & Game, Hudson, New York, and author of Eat With Your Hands

“Diana Kennedy is the most serious food writer in Mexico, but what many people won’t know—until they read this book—is that she’s an extraordinary cook of all sorts of cuisines. Cooking casually with her at home is to know her keen palate and deep understanding of how food works. It’s also great fun.”
Gabriela Cámara, chef and owner of Contramar, Mexico City, and Cala, San Francisco


Available for Kindle
Available on Google Play
Available on Kobo
Available for Nook
Available on the Apple Store

This book may also be available on the following library platforms; check with your local library:
3M Cloud Library/bibliotheca