Caroline Hennessy reviews The Gannet's Gastronomic Miscellany

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Book review: The Gannet's Gastronomic Miscellany by Killian Fox (Mitchell Beazley) by Caroline Hennessy   Put together by a group of London-based writers, photographers and filmmakers, The Gannet is an online magazine that believes, like Claudia Roden, that the best of stories are to be found in the kitchen.

The articles are a delicious meander through relaxed chats, interviewees' picks of local coffee spots, restaurants and shops, collections of loved food objects and favourite cookbooks.

Gannet co-founder, editor and Irishman Killian Fox has taken all that base material and picked through it for nuggets of gold to compile The Gannet's Gastronomic Miscellany. The slim book has a collection of these - cooking tips, comfort meals, perfect breakfasts taken from the online publication - together with a smorgasbord of esoteric food facts.
It's packed with random lists (pleasingly named puddings, actors who beefed up / slimmed down for film roles), illustrations - latte art, edible flowers, obscure cutlery - and short pieces on things like Hitler's food taster, artists in the kitchen and the ultimate tomato sauce (Marcella Hazan for the win!).

It's all written with tongue very firmly in cheek. In lunchboxes of the world, alongside the glories of bento and tiffin boxes, is a rather sad looking Irish packed lunch; there's a scientific investigation on the five second role; and a list of niche cookbooks that includes Cooking in the Nude and The Original Road Kill Cookbook.  

From the useful to the intriguing to the downright demented, The Gannet's Gastronomic Miscellany is a thorough pick and mix of fun food facts.