Books for Cooks was founded in 1983 by Heidi Lascelles. At that time, the whole venture must have seemed highly improbable. British cooking was a standing joke the world over, with London a highly unlikely location for a cook book store. Heidi was neither a trained cook nor professional bookseller.-Books for Cooks website.
One of my favorite films is Notting Hill, in which Hugh Grant owns a bookstore which sells nothing but Travel Books. It's the kind of Long Tail choice that seems unlikely to succeed in the Brick and Morton world, and Hugh's character was not rich or famous. Still, it did introduce lots of people outside of London to Knotting Hill's famous bookshops.
Across the road from The Travel Bookshop is Books for Cooks, another one note shop that seems to be doing very well with it's all cookbooks all the time programing.
I'm a sucker for books and I have to admit that I have soft spot for cookbooks. Most of the ones I buy are large and glossy and filled with beautiful photos. The handful of real cookbooks I own have battle won stains from time sitting on a kitchen counter while its owner zipped back and forth from cook pot to cookbook in mild to extreme confusion.
Which is where a stop at a Books for Cooks workshop would have come in handy. This bookstore teaches you how to cook, as well as selling you books on cooking. The list of workshops is pretty impressive. Everything from how to Taste Wine to how to Cook with Recipes. Truffle and Chocolate Making, that would be the one for me. I do love to make Truffles and I am always on the lookout for one more recipe to try.
The other bit that sets Books for Cooks apart from other bookstores is it's Test Kitchen, where great smells waft out to fill the shop and inspire the would be foodie to greatness. Of course, I would be more likely just to eat the samples and not really try to make them myself. I do love a good bookshop, and the hunt for just the right book is a great way to spend a couple of hours.
Books for Cooks 4 Blenheim Crescent, Notting Hill, London, W11 1NN