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I have just finished writing a book called Supper For A Song, to be published in October. It is, in a nutshell, about eating well for less. However, the words frugal, cheap, credit-crunch, austerity, budget, own-label, thrift are absolutely not what the book is about, indeed, they are banned from its pages.

My book is about bounty, plenty, good food, good ingredients and buying the best. The best certainly doesn't always mean the most expensive; think hocks, shanks, belly, breast, trotters, skirt. And roots, shoots and leaves have always been a part of my culinary grammar. It's about doing less with less and sometimes more with less and eschewing conspicuous extravagance or consumption.

Culinary chic - recessionary culinary chic, that is - is the most creative kind of cooking there is. It is not just about showing how little you've spent, it's about how creative a cook you can be, and about the trouble you have taken. It is no longer acceptable merely to shop for the most extravagant ingredients and put them on a plate-a style of eating and entertaining that the previous decade of excess applauded. You know, the dinner where the San Daniele or Pata Negra is served hand-deep on great platters with ripe figs or Ogen melons, followed, perhaps, by a whole wild sea bass or salmon, a cheeseboard taking in the A to nearly Z of everything from Appleby's Cheshire to Vacherin Mont d'Or. The incessant discussion of how it all got from pasture to plate.

The dinner parties and entertaining of the last decade have been as much about showing off our recently acquired foodie knowledge and our buying of extravagant ingredients as anything else. People have been terrorised by cheffy food to the point at which they didn't dare serve the ordinary, everyday good food that they used to buy and used to know how to cook. The smart restaurant entered the home kitchen, but we weren't very comfortable with it: it meant pressure, too much faffing about, too much money and altogether didn't feel much like home.

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