Sunday, 5 September 2010
Len Deighton's 'Action Cook Book' was first published in 1965, collecting recipes from his weekly column in 'The Observer'.
As famously demonstrated by Michael Caine in Deighton's 'The Ipcress File', action cooking was yet another accomplishment for sixties alpha males, as well as a sure fire way to pull the bloody birds.
Once the epitome of cosmopolitan machismo, it all seems rather quaint in our culinary obsessed times, and many of the meals are more Tony Hancock than Egon Ronay.
Although it may seem extraordinary now that Deighton would need to explain in detail to the reader what a chilli pepper was, or to outline the positive benefits of purchasing a refrigerator, it must have seemed very new and sophisticated in world where most young men had grown up on a rationed diet of offal and root vegetables, and the kitchen was somewhere your Mum lived.