We owe it to each other to tell stories - Neil Gaiman

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The Agony Chef - Kate Sidley

Title: The Agony Chef

Author: Kate Sidley

Pages: 156

Publisher: Pan Macmillan South Africa

Source: Review copy from Pan Macmillan

The Synopsis

The Agony Chef is a unique concept in cookery books that puts hilarious, fictitious agony aunt columns alongside delicious, real recipes. Join Agony Chef Delilah as she shares her wit and wisdom, her opinions and recipes and her touching belief that food and humour can mend fences and hearts and solve the vexing problems of modern life.

The Review

Brilliant. Funny. Brilliantly Funny. If you had to read The Agony Chef in one sitting you would have to be admitted to hospital for abdominal pain from all the laughing, but you would probably have killer muscles after all the laughing that happens whilst you read this brilliant book.

Delilah, our Agony Chef is the kind of person that you want to be. She is well travelled, well read, and has fantastic stories and experiences. She is the kind of person you wish you knew. With this wonderful combination of traits, she is the perfect person to offer you advice and supply you with recipes that are perfect for your situation. She knows just what food will offer comfort, display gratitude and earn forgiveness or even seduce. Delilah is the best friend we all deserve. The best friend that we all dream of having or of being ourselves.

A word of caution: if you do not want people to think that you are crazy, do not read this book in public, as they will think that you are on drugs with all the silly laughing that will come from you, or that you have just lost your mind or that someone is drugging you with laughing gas.

But then you should share the stories that you read in The Agony Chef, because it is always so much nicer to have someone to laugh with you. My favourite problem and response in The Agony Chef is from Martin who is worried that his wife is having an affair, who confronted his wife and was duly given a black eye after being thrown with a muffin. The sharp Delilah offers advice on how to make harmless muffins, and confirms that Martin certainly has a problem with his wife. Of course my retelling is not nearly as funny as the experience of reading it. I could regale you better with that story in person using the cadence of my voice.

For now you'll have to trust me about how wonderful The Agony Chef is, and get a copy and see for yourself how brilliant this book is. I guarantee you will not be disappointed. I baked the Buttermilk Chocolate Cake that Delilah gave the recipe for on page 49 - and it was superb. So superb that it did not last a day. Luckily I managed to take a few photos before this delectable cake was devoured...


  1. Great. How about linking in to Books You Loved: August edition. Have a great week!

  2. Interesting concept, I've not heard of a book like this before!

    1. It is marvellous, and truly original. I wish I could give everyone a copy


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