Flora Shedden, the youngest ever semi-finalist in the Great British Bake Off, is publishing her debut cookbook, Gatherings, with Mitchell Beazley, part of the Octopus Publishing Group.
Shedden, a contestant on the last year's show, first revealed her intent to write the book in October of last year - when she took a year off from her studies at St Andrews University to pursue the project amid reports publishers had been "fighting to get her signature". Explaining her decision to put her studies on pause, she told the Telegraph at the time: "I didn’t want either my studies to slide or produce a book I wasn’t happy with. So I’ve got to grab it with both hands.”
Eleanor Maxfield, editorial director at Octopus Publishing Group, acquired world rights all languages from Heather Holden-Brown at HHB Agency. Gatherings will be published in hardback on 26th January 2017, priced £25.
The book will be a collection of modern dishes, staple snacks, salads and sides, interesting bakes, and puddings. The overiding premise is: "Nothing overly fussy or complicated, just tasty, pretty plates of food". The aim is for there to be "no pressure, no code of conduct", so that everyone, cook included, can enjoy themselves. Chapters will be led by occasion and include dishes such as Sloe Gin Braised Venison, Cocoa Nib Brownies and Redcurrant Pavlovas.
Maxfield said: "Flora's food is the perfect combination of simplicity and sophistication. We're thrilled to be working with such an exciting young food talent - people will be cooking from Flora's cookbooks for years to come, praising her refreshing style and recipes that 'just work every time'."
Shedden, now 20, was part of the sixth series of GBBO. She lives in Scotland and writes a regular online column for The Scotsman. She commented: "I’m so excited to be working with Eleanor and the team at Octopus. Gatherings is a collection of the food I love to cook and eat with friends and family and I can’t wait to share it with everyone in my first cookbook."
Fellow contestant and winner of the sixth series, Nadiya Hussain, wrote a cookbook for Michael Joseph, published in June, and children’s book of stories and recipes, illlustrated by Clair Rossiter, that published with Hodder Children’s Books (HCB) this month.