Prue Leith lands two-book deal after seven-way auction

Prue Leith lands two-book deal after seven-way auction

Bluebird will be publishing Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith's first cookbook in 25 years following a "hotly contested" seven-way auction. 

Carole Tonkinson, publisher of Pan Macmillan imprint Bluebird, acquired world rights (all languages) in a two-book deal with Leith from agent Jane Turnbull.

First in the deal, the as-yet-untitled book will be the first cookery book from the GBBO judge since Leith's Cookery Bible (Bloomsbury) published in 1991. Drawing on a life-long passion for cooking and eating, it will contain Leith's "star recipes" for "delicious, comforting dishes to be turned to time and again".

According to Bluebird, these are the recipes she has cooked countless times for family and friends, from "firmly established favourites to exciting new flavour combinations and fresh takes on classic dishes", including "lazy leftovers, quick-to-whip-up suppers and even dinner party show-stoppers". Many of the recipes will have personal stories from Leith's life woven around them as well.

A second book will follow in 2019. Entitled The Joy of Baking, the book will be co-authored by her niece, Peta Leith, who is a baker and pastry chef at The Ivy. The book will display Peta Leith's "baking flair and passion for a challenge" with Prue Leith's "assurance and voice of experience", pitched as complementary styles that will demonstrate there is often more than one way to arrive at a really great result, whether by intricate restaurant-standard baking or clever homely shortcuts. The book will share with readers both how to make "truly spectacular" cakes and "surprisingly simple" bakes.

Since moving to Channel 4, "The Great British Bake Off" is still managing to pull in over 12m viewers (including Catch Up), according to Bluebird. 

Leith's deal is the second since the show started, with Quercus announcing it is publishing a revised and updated version of her memoirs Relish on 29th August, the transmission date for the show's first episode.