In the Kitchen with Bill Buford and Jonathan Meades

Composite of three photographs of the speakers

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On restaurants, cooking and French cuisine. In conversation with Tracey MacLeod.

This is an online event hosted on the British Library platform. Bookers will be sent a link in advance giving access and will be able to watch at any time for 48 hours after the start time.

Writers Bill Buford and Jonathan Meades talk to broadcaster and restaurant critic Tracey MacLeod about their shared passion for food, honed through residence in France

A few years ago, following a lifelong urge, but without any formal training as a chef or a word of French, Bill Buford moved his young family to the city of Lyon, the historic gastronomic capital of the world. Studying at L'Institut Bocuse, cooking at the storied, Michelin-starred La Mère Brazier, enduring the endless hours and exacting rigeur of the kitchen, he gradually earned the acceptance of the locals and his fellow chefs, and came to understand the true grit, precision and passion of the French kitchen. His acclaimed recent book Dirt: Adventures in French Cooking tells the story.

One of the most original, provocative and entertaining voices of our time, Jonathan Meades is a writer, essayist and film-maker and was also a much-garlanded Times restaurant critic for fifteen years. His philosophy of the craft of cooking was set out in his brilliantly opinionated 2017 cookbook The Plagiarist in the Kitchen and his new anthology of uncollected writing from the last thirty years, Pedro and Ricky Come Again has been described by Simon Heffer in The Daily Telegraph as 'this wonderful book'. Roger Lewis in Times said 'it ought to become a classic.'

Bill Buford is the author of Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany and Among the Thugs. He is the editor of The Granta Book of Travel, The Granta Book of Reportage and The Granta Book of the Family. He has received a Marshall Scholarship, a James Beard Award, and the Comune di Roma’s Premio Sandro Onofri for narrative reportage. For eighteen years, Buford lived in England, and was the founding editor of the literary magazine Granta and the founding publisher of Granta Books. He moved to the United States in 1995 to join The New Yorker, where he has been the fiction editor, a staff writer, and a regular contributor. He was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, educated at University of California, Berkeley, and King&rsmquo;s College, Cambridge, and now lives in New York City with his wife, the wine educator and writer Jessica Green, and their twin sons.

Jonathan Meades is a writer, journalist, essayist and film-maker. He was restaurant critic at The Times from 1986 to 2001 and was named Best Food Journalist of the year four times. His books include three works of fiction – Filthy English, Pompey and The Fowler Family Business – and several collections including Museum Without Walls, which received thirteen nominations as a book of the year in 2012 and his latest, Pedro and Ricky Come Again. An Encyclopaedia of Myself was shortlisted for the 2015 PEN Ackerley Prize and longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize in 2014. His first and only cookbook, The Plagiarist in the Kitchen, was published by Unbound in 2017. Meades has written and performed in more than sixty highly acclaimed television films on predominantly topographical subjects such as shacks, garden cities, megastructures, buildings associated with vertigo, beer, pigs, and the architecture of Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and Franco. He also creates artknacks and treyfs. Treyf means impure, not kosher: it sums up his approach to all writing, film and art.

Tracey MacLeod is a broadcaster and writer and a regular guest judge on the hit BBC series MasterChef. For many years she was the presenter of the BBC’s flagship arts show The Late Show, where she specialised in music subjects, and has also hosted her own shows on radio stations including BBC 6 Music, LBC, GLR and BBC Radio 2. As a restaurant critic for The Independent she has won numerous awards.

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Name: In the Kitchen with Bill Buford and Jonathan Meades
Where: British Library St Pancras
When: -
Price: Full Price: £5.00
Member: £5.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546