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Appetite

A Memoir in Recipes of Family and Food

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

'Charming' – The Sunday Times
‘Delicious’ – Daily Mail
'Wonderful' – 
Stephen Fry
‘Delightful’ – Delia Smith

'Brilliant' – Claudia Winkleman
'Joyous' – Caitlin Moran
'Entertaining' - Observer
'
Funny' - Ken Follett 

'Glorious' - Daily Express
'Touching' - Robert Peston
 
Appetite is a memoir with a twist: each chapter is a recipe that tells a story. 

Ed Balls was just three weeks old when he tried his first meal in 1967: pureed roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. From that moment on he was hooked on food.

Taught to cook by his mother, Ed's now passing her wisdom on to his own kids as they start to fly the nest. Reflecting on his life in recipes, Ed takes us from his grandma's shepherd's pie to his first trip to a restaurant in the 1970s (and ordering an orange juice as a starter); from the inner workings of Westminster to the pressures of parenting. This is a collection of the meals he loves most, and the memories they bring back.

The world may have changed since 1967, but the best 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 (May 1, 2022)
  • Length: 336 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781398504769

'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.’ 

– The Guardian