Ed Balls was just three weeks old when he tried his first meal: pureed roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. While perhaps ill-advised by modern weaning standards, it worked for him in 1967, and from that moment on he was hooked on food.
Appetite is a memoir with a twist: part autobiography, part cookbook, each chapter is a recipe that tells a story. Ed was taught to cook by his mother, and now he’s passing these recipes on to his own children as they start to fly the nest. Sitting round the table year after year, the world around us may change, but great recipes last a lifetime.
Appetite is a celebration of love, family, and really good food.
Ed Balls is a dad, cook, pianist, economist, broadcaster, writer, chairman, retired dancer and former Cabinet Minister. On radio and TV, Ed is best known for his BBC series Travels in Trumpland with Ed Balls, his Radio 4 documentary Virtues of Vulnerability, his memorable appearance on the 2016 series of Strictly Come Dancing and as the first winner of Celebrity Best Home Cook. Ed lives in Castleford and London with his wife, Yvette Cooper MP, and their three children. His 2016 book Speaking Out: Lessons in Life and Politics was a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller.
Publisher: Gallery UK (August 19, 2021)
Length: 352 pages
'It is a book that shouldn’t really work, and yet does, quite charmingly so. […] What I really like about this book (apart from an intriguing recipe for pulled pork) is that it isn’t yet another weighty ideological tome or political diary, it is an honest account of what it feels like to run a home and raise your children while pursuing a high-profile career, written from the perspective of a man. There is guilt, there is worry, but there is a lot of love. Whether it’s the book of his favourite recipes he gives to each of his children on their 18th birthday or the time he spends teaching his father to make a cheese soufflé, he demonstrates that food is a way of showing he cares.'
– The Sunday Times
‘Ed is tremendous and I love his cake. This is a brilliant book.’
– Claudia Winkleman
‘A big, joyous hug of a book – like drinking a pint of the best word-custard. Every reader will immediately put “Have a chatty lunch with Ed Balls” on their bucket list. It’s so lovely to be able to point at an author and exclaim, “This is clearly just a very lovely man.”'
– Caitlin Moran
‘Just wonderful. This is food writing as it should be: a triumphant mix of childhood memories, family feasts, political machinations and always good food.’
– Stephen Fry
‘To be a really good cook you have to be passionate about really good food. Ed is such a person and in this delightfully different book the passion shines through.’
– Delia Smith
'A memoir like no other'
– Daily Mail
‘Whatever your political persuasion, this is a delicious treat of a book. Balls is immensely likeable – and so is his cooking. Recipes such as his mum’s lasagne, and apple and blackberry crumble aren’t fancy or fiddly but they’re a glorious celebration of family food at its finest.’
– Daily Express
‘An entertaining memoir … The British political food book is not a crowded field, but it’s fertile ground. Balls knows his onions.’
Get our latest book recommendations, author news, and competitions right to your inbox.
Thank you for signing up, fellow book lover!
Tell us what you like and we'll recommend books you'll love.