Karen Dudley

THE READER: Karen Dudley — chef

"I devour recipe books" -- The Kitchen's Karen Dudley reveals her reading favourites

BY ALEXANDER MATTHEWS

Karen Dudley is a chef and caterer based in Woodstock. She operates out of the much-loved The Kitchen — where lunchtime masses descend for fresh salads and sarmies — and recently opened a more formal extension, The Dining Room. Dudley has authored two cook books: A Week in the Kitchen and Another Week in the Kitchen.

What are you reading at the moment?

Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch — a superb book.

What is your favourite novel of all-time?

I love the series by Phillip Pullman, and The Sparrow by Mary Russell.

What were your favourite books as a child?

Enid Blyton — The Secret Seven and Famous Five series — and Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh.

What’s the last book you gave as a gift?

A Week in a Kitchen and Another Week in the Kitchen. I buy a lot of books for my husband: I gave him the latest Iain Banks. I also give away a lot of copies of the Olivia the Pig by Ian Falconer; it is a children’s book.

Which book have you never been able to finish?

Tolstoy’s War and Peace. And I have never read Charles Dickens.

What book do you turn to for advice?

I don’t turn to books for advice but I devour recipe books.

Do you read mostly paper books? On your iPad? Kindle? All three?

Paper books. Shorter stories I enjoy reading on my tablet.

Your favourite cookbook?

Smoke & Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen by Chef Edward Lee, a Korean chef in the American South — I love his sentiments. I also love The Art of Living according to Jo Beef: A Cookbook.

If you could cook dinner with a dead writer, who would you cook dinner for, where would you eat with them, and what would you make them?

MFK Fisher who was a food writer, in the ’40s and ’50s. She was a brilliant writer. I would cook her a classic lunch and have her in The Kitchen. I would like her to see what has happened to food, how it has evolved over time… but I would be a little terrified.

The Kitchen by Karen Dudley Another Week in the Kitchen is published by Jacana and is available from Kalahari.com.

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