Nigel Slater (born 9 April 1956) is an English food writer, journalist and broadcaster. He has written a column for ''The Observer Magazine'' for over a decade and is the principal writer for the ''Observer Food Monthly'' supplement. Prior to this, Slater was food writer for ''Marie Claire'' for five years. He also serves as art director for his books.

Early life

Nigel Slater was born on 9 April 1956, in Wolverhampton, then in Staffordshire. He was the youngest of three sons born to factory owner Cyril "Tony" Slater and housewife Kathleen Slater (''née'' Galleymore). His mother died of asthma in 1965. In 1971, his father re-married to Dorothy Perrens, dying in 1973. Slater attended Woodfield Avenue School in Penn, Staffordshire. He moved to Worcestershire as a teenager and attended Chantry High School where he enjoyed writing essays and was one of only two boys to take cookery as an O-Level subject.Nigel Slater
University of Wolverhampton, 2011; Retrieved 6 March 2011
I was one of two boys who took cookery O-level at my secondary school
Times Educational Supplement, 10 October 2003; Retrieved 6 March 2011
Slater claims in his autobiography that he used food to compete with his stepmother for his father's attention.Competitive cooking: Why do we bother?
BBC News, 22 December 2010
Their biggest battle was over lemon meringue pie – his father's favourite. She refused to divulge her recipe, so Slater resorted to subterfuge to turn out his own version. "I'd count the egg-shells in the bin, to see how many eggs she'd used and write them down. I'd come in at different times, when I knew she was making it. I'd just catch her when she was doing some meringue, building up that recipe slowly over a matter of months, if not years." Slater gained an OND in catering at Worcester Technical College in 1976, and worked in restaurants and hotels across the UK before becoming a food writer for ''Marie Claire'' magazine in 1988. He became known for uncomplicated, comfort food recipes which he presented in early books such as ''The 30-Minute Cook'' (1994) and ''Real Cooking'', as well as his memoir-like columns for ''The Observer'' which he began in 1993.

Television and radio

In 1998, Slater hosted the Channel 4 series ''Nigel Slater's Real Food Show''. He returned to TV in 2006 to host the chat/food show ''A Taste of My Life'' for BBC One and BBC Two. In 2009, he presented the six-part series ''Simple Suppers'' on BBC One, and a second series the following year. He appeared as a guest castaway on BBC Radio 4's ''Desert Island Discs'' in June 2005. In November 2013 he appeared alongside farmer Adam Henson on BBC's 'Nigel and Adam's Farm Kitchen', which was set on a working farm in the Cotswolds and covered various aspects of food production and preparation.


Slater's book, ''Eating for England: The Delights & Eccentricities of the British at Table'' (Fourth Estate), is devoted to British food and cookery. It was published in October 2007 and was described in ''The Sunday Times'' as "the sort of ragbag of choice culinary morsels that would pass the time nicely on a train journey". His book ''Tender'' is the story of his vegetable garden, how it came to be, and what grows in it. The book was published in two volumes; the first is on vegetables, which was released late in 2009 and the second is on fruit, which was released in 2010. ''Tender'' is described as a memoir, a study of fifty of our favourite vegetables, fruits and nuts and a collection of over five hundred recipes. Slater became known to a wider audience with the publication of ''Toast: The Story of a Boy's Hunger'', a moving and award-winning autobiography focused on his love of food, his childhood, his family relationships (his mother died of asthma when he was nine) and his burgeoning homosexuality. Slater has called it "the most intimate memoir that any food person has ever written".Interview with Nigel Slater (page 2)
AfterElton.com, 10 January 2005
''Toast'' was published in Britain in October 2004Toast: The Story of a Boy's Hunger by Nigel Slater
Barnes & Noble
and became a best-seller after it was featured on the Richard & Judy Book Club. As he told ''The Observer'', "The last bit of the book is very foody. But that is how it was. Towards the end I finally get rid of these two people in my life I did not like is father and stepmother, who had been the family's cleaning ladyand to be honest I was really very jubilant—and thereafter all I wanted to do was cook."


Slater's autobiographical work was adapted into 2010's ''Toast'', starring Freddie Highmore as the 15-year-old Slater and Helena Bonham Carter as his stepmother. It has been broadcast on BBC One. In 2018, The Lowry commissioned a stage adaptation of Toast written by Henry Filloux-Bennett and directed by Jonnie Riordanwith Sam Newton as Nigel Slater. After a sell-out run at the Week 53 Festival, it was announced that it would transfer to the Traverse Theatre at Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Both productions of the show received rave reviews with critics praising it for its charm and glowing nostalgia. In 2018, it was announced that Toast would transfer to The Other Palace in London, premiering on April 9, 2019. In March 2019, it was announced that Giles Cooper would play the role of Nigel. In April 2019, it was announced that the show would embark on a UK National Tour in the autumn.

Personal life

Slater has two older brothers, Adrian (born 1944) and John. Slater's parents adopted John, a neighbour's child, before Slater was born. He also has two stepsisters, from whom he is estranged. Slater lives in the Highbury area of north London, where he maintains a kitchen garden which is often featured in his column. Slater is gay.

Publications and broadcasting


*''The Marie Claire Cookbook'', Hamlyn, (, 1992) *''Real Fast Food'', Michael Joseph, (, 1992) or Penguin Books, (, 1993) *''Real Fast Puddings'', Michael Joseph, (, 1992) or Penguin Books, (, 1994) *''The 30-Minute Cook'', Michael Joseph, (, 1994) *''Real Good Food'', Fourth Estate (ISBN, 1995) *''Real Cooking'', Michael Joseph, (, 1997) or Penguin Books (, 1999) *''Real Food'', Fourth Estate, (, 1998) or (, 2000) *''Appetite'', Random House of Canada, (, 2000) or Fourth Estate (, 2000) *''Thirst'', Fourth Estate, (, 2002) *''The Kitchen Diaries'', Fourth Estate, (, 2005) or Gotham Books, published by Penguin (USA), (), October 2006 *''Tender'', Volume One, Fourth Estate, Harper Collins () (2009) *''Tender'', Volume Two, Fourth Estate, Harper Collins (2010) *''The Kitchen Diaries II'', Fourth Estate (2012) *''eat: The Little Book of Fast Food'', Fourth Estate (2013) *''A Year of Good Eating: The Kitchen Diaries III'', Fourth Estate () (2015) *''The Christmas Chronicles'', Fourth Estate (2017) *''Greenfeast: Spring, Summer,'' Fourth Estate () (2019) *''Greenfeast: Autumn, Winter,'' Fourth Estate () (2019)


*''Toast: The Story of a Boy's Hunger'', Fourth Estate, (, 2003) or HarperPerennial (, 2004) *''Eating For England'', Fourth Estate, (, October 2007)


*''Nigel Slater’s Real Food Show '' (1998) – host and presenter *''A Taste of My Life '' (2006-2008, 31 episodes) – host and presenter *''Nigel Slater’s Simple Suppers '' (2009) – writer and presenter *''Nigel Slater’s Simple Cooking '' (2011, 8 episodes) – writer and presenter *''Nigel Slater: Life is Sweets '' (2012, one-off documentary) – writer and presenter *''Nigel Slater’s Dish of the Day '' (2012) – writer and presenter *''Nigel Slater’s Great British Biscuit '' (2013, one-off documentary) – writer and presenter *''Nigel and Adam’s Farm Kitchen '' (2013) – co-presenter *''Nigel Slater: Eating Together ''(2015, 4 episodes) – writer and presenter *''Nigel Slater's Middle East ''(2018, 3 episodes) - writer and presenter

Honour and awards

*1995 Glenfiddich Cookery Writer of the Year Award *1995 Glenfiddich Trophy *1995 Glendfiddich Award for Best Visual Work for ''The Observer'' *1996 Media Personality of the Year Award (Good Food Awards) *1999 Glenfiddich Award for Best Visual Work for ''Real Food'' *1999 Best Newspaper Cookery Journalist Award *2000 André Simon Award for Cookbook of the Year for ''Appetite'' *2004 André Simon Award for ''Toast'' *2004 Glenfiddich Food Book of the Year for''Toast'' *2004 British Biography of the Year Award for ''Toast'' *2004 Observer Food Monthly Book of the Year Award for ''Toast'' *2004 WH Smith People's Choice Award for "Toast" *2006 British Book Award for ''The Kitchen Diaries'' *2007 Specialist Writer of the Year, PPA Awards *2009 Honorary DLitt from the University of Wolverhampton *2009 BBC Food Personality of the Year *2018 Fortnum and Mason's Food Book award for ''The Christmas Chronicles: Notes, stories & 100 essential recipes for midwinter'' *2020 Awarded OBE in the New Year Honours for services to cookery and literature


External links

Official siteNigel Slater
5th Estate
Nigel Slater columns and recipes
''The Observer''
Nigel Slater: the interview
''The Observer'', 14 September 2003 *Tamasin Day-Lewi
1998 The Real Cook
Nigel Slater's Simple Suppers
BBC One {{DEFAULTSORT:Slater, Nigel Category:1956 births Category:Living people Category:People from Wolverhampton Category:English food writers Category:English male journalists Category:English memoirists Category:James Beard Foundation Award winners Category:LGBT people from England Category:Gay writers Category:English television chefs Category:Officers of the Order of the British Empire