2018 Cook Book Festival in pictures

Photographs above by Kelly Reeves: ‘Biscuits go large’ workshop, Caldesis Italian, Ella Mills (‘Deliciously Ella’), Jo Pratt, Rich Harris and the Sushi workshop with Silla Bjerrum. 

Day two of the first Cook Book Festival and Jack Monroe is apologising on Twitter for being late, having got on the wrong train. She fetched up half an hour late but the audience seemed to forgive her. Maybe she was distracted by the news that morning that Katie Hopkins, against whom she had won a libel action the year before, had filed for IVA to avoid bankruptcy.

Jack’s lateness notwithstanding, the first Cook Book Festival was deemed to be a huge success judging by ticket sales and the comments of passing punters. It was jointly organised by TV chef Jo Pratt and Lucy Cufflin of Ginger Whisk. Jo was to be seen dashing about the place with saucepans, along with the rest of the Cook Book Festival crew, just a streak of blonde hair and the fragrance of something good to eat on the breeze as she passed. When she did stop running about for a second she said: “Creating the very first Cookbook Festival here in Chiswick has not only been fabulous for the local community, but we also welcomed many foodie guests from miles away, who were thrilled to have a chance to meet their favourite chefs and authors. We have achieved our aim and brought cookbooks to life”.

Photographs below by Dinis Cruz: People arriving and queuing for the festival and group photo of the Cook Book Festival crew.

It’s always more difficult organising an event such as this for the first time. To paraphrase former US Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld, there are the ‘knowns’, the ‘known unknowns’ but also there are always ‘unknown unknowns’ to deal with.

Jo’s co-organiser Lucy Cufflin: “Did we take on too much? Yes, of course we did. Was it worth it? My goodness yes! When Jo and I casually decided it might be a good idea we had no idea the Herculean task we had just embarked upon and there is no doubt that this was pulled off by the utter dedication, talent and sheer determination of the fine group of women on our committee. Each and every one of them is super talented but more than that I have never seen 12 people work so hard in such a short space of time. There was never once a cross word and there were plenty of giggles and such a sense of relief and achievement on Sunday at 6pm! Same time next year!”

Photographs below: Cook Book Festival sessions with Melissa Hemsley, Mallika Basu and John Torode. Photographs by Charmaine Grieger.