Sophie Dahl has taught me how to cook. Her first cookbook, Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights, has an amazing chicken curry recipe, among many others, and her new book, Very Fond of Food, doesn’t disappoint. Sophie’s recipes tell a story. Whether she’s explaining how to create some ambience around a meal, for example making mushrooms on toast with a poached egg for an easy Sunday night dinner “watching a good old costume drama” (page 15) or dedicating a Gooseberry yogurt recipe to her aunt who happily discovered the fruit at an Amsterdam restaurant, Sophie’s recipes evoke a world of simple beauty. Sophie herself wears vintage style clothes and has wispy blonde hair and a charming attitude. She makes you really want to cook. I love her recipes because they are incredibly easy yet incredibly sophisticated. Last weekend, some friends came over for dinner and I made her coconut shrimp curry (from her first cookbook) which took all of fifteen minutes but looked impressive. Best of all, Sophie divides her recipes by season. And who doesn’t want a cookbook that comes with gorgeous photos and family stories?