Delia Smith and Jamie Oliver have proven themselves King and Queen of the kitchen after their cookery books became the most popular with budding UK chefs this year, knocking Nigella Lawson off her throne.
While Oliver’s book, released off the back of his controversial Hull-battering TV series Ministry of Food, became the number one Christmas cookery book bestseller according to Waterstones, Smith’s equally controversial How to Cheat at Cooking has amazingly become the highest selling cook book of the year.
Jon Howell, spokesperson for Waterstones, said Smith’s success was down to an early release, a great marketing campaign, and of course, charm. “Delia is the nation’s most trusted celebrity chef,” he said. “She started the whole TV thing years ago, and she’s still a big story now.”
Just under 522,000 copies of Smith’s easy, thrifty recipes were sold since its release, with Oliver’s MoF trailing behind with 480,000 sales. But with just over a week of shopping remaining in 2008, the race is still on.
Waterstones last year shifted 600,000 copies of Nigella Express, but high hopes of the buxom cook selling a similar amount of her latest book, Nigella’s Christmas, this time around have been shattered, with a grand total of 255,000 sales so far.
Disappointingly, Gordon Ramsay’s latest book, Cooking for Friends, only managed to sell 108,000 copies.