Independent Plus Channel 4's 'The Taste': Judges Ludo Lefebvre, Nigella Lawson and Anthony Bourdain

By Ellen E Jones

With Team Nigella already whipped into a state of expectant devotion by her court appearances, her show couldn’t have arrived at a more opportune moment. But The Taste, which began on Channel 4 tonight, is no ordinary Nigella Lawson cookery show and no ordinary competition, either. The contestants may come from the ranks of professional chefs or enthusiastic home cooks, but all will be judged, sight unseen, on the flavour of a single spoonful.

David Pears: Philosopher renowned for his work on Wittgenstein

For those who knew and loved him, the philosopher David Pears seemed touched by greatness, not only in his work, but in the rich and accomplished breadth of his interests. These ranged from his self-acquired mastery of butterflies and botany (begun in his bucolic Devon holidays and continued on family walks with his children), to his passion for the visual arts (he was the first curator of the Christ Church Picture Gallery, instrumental in its being built, and a very hands-on chairman of the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford at the time when its directors included Nicholas Serota), to his soigné cooking (almost always fish served with a distinguished white wine) for his and his wife Anne's Oxford dinner parties.

Heston Blumenthal has torn up the rulebook again

Dishwasher-poached pears, strawberries glazed in a sandwich toaster and beef cooked for an entire day.

Britten, the boy wonder

Music the composer wrote as a child can now be heard for the first time. It shows a precocious genius, says Lynne Walker

Move over, Nigella ... here comes Norman

He was famous for his hard-boiled politics. Now Lord Tebbit is joining the ranks of celebrity chefs with his first cook book (and there's lots of red meat)

The Sonnets: 97

By William Shakespeare

When you are Engulfed in Flames, By David Sedaris

For the last decade, David Sedaris, a humourist in the Woody Allen mode, has been carrying around a small notebook in his front pocket which he pulls out on average ten times a day, jotting down observations and "thoughts on how to make money, or torment people." The fruits of his most recent labours are to be found here - including a diary of his quest to quit smoking, excerpts of which have previously appeared in The New Yorker.

Sausage rolls

Makes 4

Days of Grace, By Catherine Hall

Ghosts both contemporary (Sarah Waters) and classic (Daphne du Maurier) hover around this striking and, finally, chilling novel of wartime passion and repression. A 12-year-old evacuee, Nora from the East End discovers the wreckage behind respectability when lodging with the Rev Rivers and his family in Kent.

Pear and frangipane tart

Serves 8

Land Securities sells Trillium arm for lower-than-expected £750m

Land Securities has finally managed to sell its Trillium outsourcing unit, but has had to settle for a lower-than-expected headline price of £750m.

A bird in hand: Marcus Wareing gives us his tips on the best game in town

They're perfectly in season now, so why wait until the first day of Christmas to enjoy partridge and pears? Our guest chef Marcus Wareing shares his recipes

Spiced pear and chestnut-crumble muffins

Makes 12
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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
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A Syrian general speaks

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‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

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Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

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Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
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They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

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Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

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The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

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A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain