A while ago I wrote about how Twitter has revolutionised the customer-supplier relationship, and how the publishing industry is no exception to this change. In order to get people talking about new publications, publishing houses directly address readers through twitter take-overs, games and competitions. I've often tried to win books through a simple 're-tweet' or 'favourite' but when Octopus Books announced its Father's Day competition in which they offered copies of the GQ Eats cookbook as prizes for the best explanations of why 'your dad is the best chef', I just had to give it a go.
This wasn't just a random shot in the dark, my dad honestly is the best cook I know! (I dare you to find someone who makes better gravy than him).
The tweet went something like this:
'because every time I eat out I say "it's nice, but it's not as good as dad's" #GravyKing'
Granted, the word limited restricted me somewhat, but I think it made the point and, lo and behold, I won!
A few days after direct messaging my address, the GQ Eats cookbook (signed by Paul Henderson!) arrived to the thrill of myself and my dad. Although I could go on forever about his cooking, this is a literature blog, not a food one, therefore I turn instead to my first review of a non-fiction text on The Reading Thing:
When I took the GQ Eats book out of the package the first adjectives that came to find were sleek, sexy, sophisticated. With a classic black, matt finish and striking red and gold font making an asymmetric shape, the outside cover matches every bit with its tag line: 'the cookbook for men of seriously good taste'. Taste, is exactly what it exudes.
The classy look is continued throughout the book as the content ranges from 'brilliant breakfasts to 'cocktail hour', with recipes for all occasions in between. The images of the dishes err on the side of art rather than food - most of them look good enough to eat, while just a few look too darn pretty to touch! The composition of the images and the simple, refined look of the dishes are perfectly in keeping with the overall tone of the cookbook.
The pictures are accompanied by concise, clear recipes of delicious, healthy dishes contributed by a collection of top chefs including Heston Blumenthal, Michel Roux Jr, Gordon Ramsay and Raymond Blanc.
As this is a GQ publication, it is ultimately aimed at men, however a sneaky line on the back page declares that 'this is the best of British food for men who want to cook and for women who want to know what to feed them' - fat chance of the latter in my house!
I was certainly impressed by the cookbook which, I must confess, I may never have come across had I not seen the Twitter competition. It really is a perfect gift for a dad, brother or boyfriend who loves to cook!
On looks and content the GQ Eats cookbook seems to tick all the boxes - I suppose all that's left to do is taste!