33 of Our Favorite British-ish Recipes from Across the Pond

May 19, 2016

The BBC announced on Tuesday that it would be closing BBC Food as part of efforts to save £15 million (about $20 million) a year.

The original plan, as Radio Times reported, was for the 11,000 recipes in BBC Food's database to be “archived or mothballed" (not linked to from other BBC sites and unsearchable through Google—though still accessible if you have the unique URL).

But after a petition drew over 180,000 signatures, the BBC changed course. The plan now, according to a more recent Radio Times article, is to merge BBC Food with the commercial site BBC Good Food, migrating over as much content as possible.

Regardless of whether the BBC's recipe archives were truly at risk (a spokesperson for the company stated, "we have never said we'd delete [...] and nor will we"), the hubbub has made us appreciate some of our favorite British and U.K.-based cooks (some BBC-affiliated, many not).

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Here are a just a few of the recipes (some British, many not) we love that originated—in some way shape or form—across the pond. (Print them all out now, clip them in a binder, and you'll can have them forever! Even if the whole internet implodes.)

Diana Henry

Madhur Jaffrey

Elizabeth David

Olia Hercules

River Cottage

Anna Jones

Nigel Slater

Claire Ptak

April Bloomfield

Nigella Lawson

Mina Holland

Yotam Ottolenghi

Jamie Oliver

Rachel Khoo

Who are your favorite British or Britain-based chefs and recipe writers? Tell us in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • amysarah
  • AntoniaJames
I used to work at Food52. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream.


amysarah May 19, 2016
British based - Claudia Roden. Big fan, especially her Book of Middle Eastern Food, Book of Jewish Food and Food of Italy, Region by Region in particular - as much for the cultural/food history as the recipes.

Also The River Caffe Cookbook(s) by Ruth Rodgers and Rose Gray - (mentors of Jamie Oliver and many others.) A dinner I had at their London restaurant in the early '90's remains one of the best rustic Italian meals ever, including many eaten in Italy. Uncomplicated/approachable, all about bringing out the best in produce, fish, etc., (i.e., like the best Italian cooking.)

In a less life-changing way, I have a little book I've loved for decades called The Art of the Tart, Savory and Sweet, by Tamasin Day-Lewis (yes, sister of...) Wonderful homey recipes.
AntoniaJames May 19, 2016
Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry! Their recipes are thoroughly tested, produce great tasting food, and are foolproof, in my experience. Mary Berry made a career, starting in the 1960's, of developing and writing understandable, accessible recipes for home cooks - lots of dinner and holiday dishes, as well as the baking for which she is now so well known. I use the bbc recipe site constantly for her recipes (and have even bought from the UK several of her books).
I like Paul Hollywood's no-nonsense approach to baking. Every recipe of his that I've tried -- well over a dozen -- has been a winner.
Finally, the other British cookery authors whose books grace my shelves:
Jane Garmey (also known in the US for her luminous books on notable gardens)
Pitt Cue Co Cookbook, a wonderful - as they all seem to be — Mitchell Beazley book. You have to search to find the authors’ names, which are in fine print in the back: Tom Adams, Simon Anderson, Jamie burger and Richard H Turner
Nora Carey
Lady Arabella Boxer
Jane Grigson Little fanfare, no marketing machines, just first rate writing and testing.
There may be a few others; these come to mind without actually checking my shelves. ;o)