In the Mood for Entertaining by Jo Pratt

Jo Pratt has worked with everyone from Jamie to Gordon to Gary Rhodes. Her last book made a splash, and we’ve got together with Waterstone’s to showcase her new one.

In the Mood for Entertaining by Jo Pratt

It seems the town of Melton Mowbray can do no wrong when it comes to food. This little corner of Leicestershire is the birthplace of the famous pork pies, Stilton and… Jo Pratt? OK, so she’s not world-famous (yet), but since the release of her first book, In the Mood for Food, Jo has been in demand as a food writer. As food editor of Glamour magazine and a TV face, she represents the glitzier side of female chefs – so she’s the perfect person to advise on entertaining.

Cooking for others can be daunting, so her second book, In the Mood for Entertaining is a lifeline. Its four chapters cover different get-togethers: Two’s Company, Relaxed Entertaining, The Dinner Party and Feeding a Crowd. The first two add something extra to ‘Simple Friday night suppers’ and the like, with ideas such as making pastry (easier than it sounds) on weekends, or adding white wine, blue cheese and spinach to macaroni cheese to make it more grown-up.

The second two chapters allow Pratt’s talent for show-off entertaining to sparkle, but this doesn’t mean spending hours on cheffy recipes. One section, ‘Ready, steady, dinner party’, allows you to whip up an impressive meal quickly – and if you want, you can add little touches with the aid of ‘Pimp up your dinner party’, a collection of recipes for things like amuse-bouches, petits fours and palate-cleansing sorbets. Beautifully shot and enlivened by Jo’s chatty, unashamedly girly commentary, this book could turn a run-of-the-mill dinner into an opportunity for culinary one-upmanship. Published by Michael Joseph, priced £20.

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