Project: BACON – Finally, You Can Pre-Order a Copy – And More Bacon Boxes

In a frenetic spurt of activity, I was overjoyed when I succeeded in crowd funding my next book – a book about bacon and bacon only, curing your own, brilliant brunches, afternoon tea (yes! salted caramel bacon eclair grab you?), home curing, cocktails, suppers and sweets – and I have been working on it since.

The initial publication date was scheduled for February, but as long term readers may know, my Dad passed away last Autumn just after the funding run finished, and so I had to put everything on hold for a short while. Now, I am close to completing and sending my manuscript to my ever patient editor. We will start photography once my photographer has finished working on a cookbook by a very-famous-baker-that-you-all-know-and-love. AHEM. My photographer, Georgia Glynn Smith is wonderful, and very much in demand. She shot my first cookbook, Comfort & Spice too.

Project: BACON on Kickstarter

Project: BACON on Kickstarter

Lots of you missed the Kickstarter and were disappointed. The money raised covered a first limited edition print run that is available only to the Kickstarter supporters. Most of the funds were diverted to book production, printing and postage, but also to the bacon boxes which were far more popular than I could have imagined (and I am thrilled that they have been well received too). These have also eaten into the timeline somewhat as they take so much time. I am learning lessons all the time.

I have been trying to figure out how I could raise funds for a second print run before the book was published and on sale. I had a complex new business idea that I really wanted to roll out, but I don’t have the time to right now (I will, though). The answer in the end was simple. Another brilliant start up that supports the start up and Kickstarter community – Shopstarter –  allows pre-orders for successful Kickstarter projects. I set it up immediately, and now you can get involved too.

Pre-order Project: BACON wit or without a bacon box on Shopstarter

Pre-order Project: BACON wit or without a bacon box on Shopstarter

The second print run will be printed one month after the first Kickstarter print run, currently scheduled for June 2014. Here are your options:[Read more]


Announcing! Project: BACON. A New Book. With Your Help.

Bourbon, Bacon & Vanilla Ice Cream - so delicious and one of my recipes from Project: Bacon

Bourbon, Bacon & Vanilla Ice Cream – so delicious and one of my recipes from Project: Bacon

I have been asked many times about my next book. I have been thinking about it quite intensely for some time but never quite had the answer (until now).

I have been speaking to many authors about their experiences over the last two years. I have met some really inspiring people that have self published their own books and have produced something that is entirely theirs and that they are proud of.  And not because they have failed in the traditional route, but for them, this was a much better option, giving them more control over the output and the book that hit the shelves.

Making bacon fudge - a bacon masterclass recipe, also in Project: Bacon

Making bacon fudge – a bacon masterclass recipe, also in Project: Bacon

Once I decide to self publish, I decided not to pitch this book to a publisher at all. So it is not that I have pitched it and failed, I want to be very clear about that. Combined with the very positive & enthusing experiences that I have had with meeting brilliant self published authors, I know the people that I want to work with to produce my book.

I am quite entrepreneurial by nature, and have experience as a project manager in the publishing industry and also as an author. Writing a book is an obsession, heart and soul and agonising and fantastic all at once. The one that I want to write now is about BACON. I want it to be fabulous and tasty and fun. I am hoping that you will help me do this by supporting and investing in my Kickstarter project.

Project: BACON will include recipes that I have developed over the last three years and taught in my bacon masterclasses. Those recipes, that energy, all of that fun and deliciousness in one book, that I put together myself (with the help of that great team that I will hire). The decision was made, next question. With limited resources how do I do this? I thought that I would look to you and see if you would take the risk and invest in me from the start.

The details are laid out explicitly in my Kickstarter project. Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform, that enables independents like me to get projects done. I am asking you to invest in me, and not donate money, but to buy the book in advance, invest in a masterclass, or subscribe to The Bacon Post for just £3 (which will give you 12 new great bacon recipes and weekly updates as I go). These will only be available to Bacon Post subscribers, and won’t be available on the blog.

You can buy the book up front, signed of course in print. £10 for the ebook and £20 for the hardcover print book, both include a subscription to The Bacon Post. The book sent to kickstarter supporters will be limited edition, so getting in early not only guarantees you get a book, it guarantees that you get a special one. There are also some early bird specials, if you get in there first you can get the hardcover book with The Bacon Post for £17, or you can get the ebook and The Bacon Post for £8.

Candied bacon chocolate truffles - from Project: Bacon Candied bacon chocolate truffles – from Project: Bacon[/caption]

What if it is successful and I manage to raise more than my goal of £20,000?

I can only hope, but if this happens, simply, I will hire an illustrator to make it even better, I will add more recipes as I will be able to hire kitchen support, and I will print more books, maybe we will even see it in bookshops. My print run will be small, so it will be expensive. Publishers save money by printing batches of books at once. Should there be anything left, I will professionally shoot recipe videos to go along with the book. I would love to do that and I am hoping that you would like that too.

Over to you.

I am nervous, I am worried, I am excited, I am terrified. I hope that you will support this endeavour, and join me on my crazy little journey, stretched out over the 7 months ahead.


(shouting because that is what it is like in my head right now, possibly a bit shrieky too)

and here is the video (also on Kickstarter) – a wobbly bacon party political broadcast from me, to you – filmed on a very hot day in my back garden. We are amateurs and also I am not good with heat so please be kind :)


The Underground Restaurant

A recession makes for interesting times. Success does not rely on large financial outlay and clever marketing schemes, customers have less money to spend and want to spend it well. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the birth of the Underground Restaurant or Pop-Up Restaurant movement in London coincides with our depressing economics times. Quirky and individual they offer a unique experience and a talking point, and the opportunity to immerse yourself in someone elses domestic environment for a few hours while you indulge in the comforts of their home cooking. I dined at one such restaurant in London recently, run by a fellow food blogger MsMarmiteLover from her gorgeous home.

The Underground Restaurant

We food bloggers travel in packs to these kind of things, I went with Helen of Food Stories, Lizzie of Hollow Legs and Chris of Cheese & Biscuits. My usual partners in crime in food forays and otherwise, and always good indicators of a fun night out.

The Underground Restaurant

We arrived promptly and were greeted warmly with a Kir Semi-Royale. We had no idea what to expect, having only had the pleasure of MsMarmiteLover’s company online, and were immediately at ease and chattering with fellow diners before sitting to eat at 7.30pm.

MsMarmiteLover offers a 3 course meal with aperetif for £25 a head. Her daughter and her friend waited on us, and were a very charming addition to the evening. The Spring menu was on offer the evening we dined there. A lovely comforting home cooked affair, starting with raviolo stuffed with Portobello (bought from Portobello Rd market), oyster and button mushrooms with an onion cappuccino cooked by Charlie Nelson, a velvety affair with an earthy mushroom interior. I can vouch for Charlie’s sauce particularly, as later on I spied two food bloggers sipping from the ladle and licking the spoon ;)


The main course followed, salmon en papillote with creme fraiche and dill with Aga-roasted exquisa potatoes in olive oil and herbs served with foccacia. I could have sworn there was nutmeg in the spiced salmon crust, alas my palette failed me, the salmon was delicately cooked and very moist and the spice crust, fragrant and crispy, is something I plan to try and replicate at home.

salmon en papillote

A brief trip to the lovely terrace followed. I experienced serious flat envy all the while, MsMarmiteLover’s lovely home represents my ideal, homely, comforting and quirky with a lovely terrace and steps to a big garden.

The evening was drawing to a close and it was time for desserts and coffee. Tarte au Citron served with meringues and coffee from the thing I coveted the most, a gorgeous porcelain moka. This was a nice finish, perfectly light, the tartness of the lemon perfectly complemented the preceding salmon.

To our surprise, Chris confessed that he could play piano, and we were treated to a session of requests which was fantastic, there’s a certain energy brought to a room with such an impromptu affair. It all felt very Gatsbyesque, without music or food, where would we be? A great night, MsMarmiteLover’s warm personality, delicious home-cooked food and lovely home provide a decadent escape fromthe day-to-day grind. I’ve got it on my list for visitors to London, we’re lucky to have such things, let’s make the most of them!