Books on cooking and gastronomy by Len Deighton

As well as being a novelist and trained illustrator, Len Deighton is a gourmand, having trained in hotel kitchens and learned the secrets of French cooking from some of that country's best chef. His cookery books in the 'sixties and 'seventies arguably contributed to a revolution in the kitchen and the way we cooked and ate, as men entered the kitchen at home for the first time.

His knowledge of food and cooking was also reflected in his fictional work, not least with the unnamed spy - 'Harry Palmer' as he's more usually known - who, in cooking for his lovers and grinding his own, was in the culinary avant garde of a 'sixties Britain still recovering from rationing.

Click on each book cover below to find out more.



Deighton and friends contribute to a lively look at the world of booze, looking at its history, the best new drinks and places to imbibe.

Action Cook Book


This book introduced the reader to Len's illustrated cooking strips which made complicated dishes easy for the layman.

Ou est le Garlic?


A companion volume to the Action Cook Book, this provides a guide for men on the intricacies and pleasures of French cuisine.

Cooking People


A compendium of interviews with cooks and food writers, includes an extensive interview with Len Deighton on food.

Basic French Cooking


A revised version of Ou est le Garlic, this book provides illustrations to help the reader make over 500 different recipes from French cuisine.

ABC of French Cooking


This is essentially a lexicon of French cooking techniques, and a paean from Deighton to la cuisine francaise.

Basic French Cookery


Fundamentally the same book as the ABC guide, this edition is reformatted and includes a number of new recipes and sauces to try.

All content (c) Rob Mallows 2010-2016 (unless otherwise stated)