We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk


TV review: Lightfields, ITV Food Glorious Food, ITV

"It's all right... it's just a bird," Vivien says to her daughter Clare when a large raven clatters out of the fireplace at Lightfields farm. "No it isn't," we think at home. It is a sable-feathered harbinger of dread, and the first crumb in a cascade of the uncanny that is about to fall about your ears. Oh and Clare, when your Mum said, "There were squatters here once, but they got scared off", well, I don't think it was a sternly worded legal letter that had them scrambling for the door. We've got the soundtrack to help us, of course, signalling the moments at which an empty room suddenly becomes pregnant with menace. That and one of those triple-layered time schemes that is now pretty much a guarantee of unquiet history and unlaid ghosts.

The 10 Best food memoirs

From life in a top-end New York kitchen to dinner parties at the height of the Raj, here are culinary tales to chew over...

A History of Food in 100 Recipes, By William Sitwell

There is no shortage of food histories and even less of recipe books, but a hybrid of the two is something new. William Sitwell tackles this mammoth project with energy and wit. His 100 recipes, each accompanied by an extended commentary, range from Archestratus's fish baked in fig leaves (the directions sound like a present-day TV chef: "You could not possibly spoil it even if you wanted to") to Heston Blumenthal's fake orange made of chicken-liver parfait, which is very easy to spoil. Even if you happen to possess the skill and requisite kit, the recipe is too abbreviated to follow.

Gastronomy: Just leave the dirty dishes

Humankind, T S Eliot said, cannot bear very much reality. When it comes to food, we've grown to love a style of photography that bears little relation to the products of our humble kitchens. It's called gastroporn.

More headlines

My Life In Food: Luke Thomas, Britain's youngest head chef

Before donning the head chef's whites at Luke's Dining Room at Sanctum on the Green, Berkshire, Thomas, who is 18, worked at Chester Grosvenor Hotel. He has done work placements at some of the most famous restaurants in the world, including The Fat Duck, Alinea in Chicago and the French Laundry pop-up at Harrods.

Gregg Wallace: 'Barbecues push appalling food to new heights'

My earliest food memory... My grandmother's roast lamb. She used to have mint growing inside a disused sink outside the kitchen door, and I'd go and pick it for the mint sauce. My grandmother was a fantastic cook. Her food was wet – she'd swamp her roast dinners in gravy so they were like a stew. I've loved wet food ever since.

My Life In Food: Adam Byatt, chef

A veteran of the kitchens at Claridge's, The Berkeley and the two-Michelin-starred The Square, Byatt has two London restaurants of his own, Trinity and Bistro Union. He also has a cookbook, How to Eat In (Random House), and regularly appears on BBC1's Saturday Kitchen.

Paul A Young: 'Whenever you're baking anything, add a pinch of sea

My earliest food memory...Going to my great-grandfather's house after school on a Monday evening, when my grandma would come over and cook stew and big Yorkshire puddings. There was a blazing coal-fired range in the kitchen, and the oven at the side was the only way of cooking. That heat from the range was different to the kind you get from gas or electric; I don't think any of us will get to taste food like that again.