Redstone Book Club: Q&A with Celia Rees

We were lucky enough to have a little Q&A with the author of our latest Book Club book, ‘Miss Graham’s Cold War Cookbook’. Thanks to Celia Rees for taking the time to answer these and for reaching out when we announced her book in our rotation! We are also THRILLED to announce that Celia will be joining us in our Zoom Book Club meeting later this month. You can purchase your January Book Club Pack here!


Q: When you were doing your research did you gain more of an interest in wines or was that something you were already very interested in?

CR: I already had an interest in wine – and not just in drinking it! I’m by no means a wine buff but I have a working knowledge of wines of different regions. I also like finding out about food and drink local to places, so I spent some time finding out what wine would be available in the different locations and matching the choices to location and circumstances – whether it was dinner at the Savoy or local red in a trattoria. I love this kind of research!

Q: Did you get inspired to cook any of the foods that you wrote about?

CR: I haven’t cooked all the dishes, I’ll confess, but some of them I’d cook anyway or were in my family recipe book, if you like. It is a challenge I feel I ought to set myself. Maybe when the paperback comes out!

Q: Do you have a signature dish or favourite food that you like to cook?

CR: I do like to cook and cook dishes from many different cuisines from Mexican to Chinese by way of Europe, India and the Middle East. My daughter has recently introduced me to a whole new world of plant based recipes and I’m enjoying trying new things. As for a signature dish, I usually zero back to the British Isles and a family favourite – Welsh Roast Lamb with Honey and Cider.

Q: I loved the question you ask in the study guide, do you think you would make a good spy?

CR: All writers would make good spies! We tend to prefer to watch and observe, noticing small things, slotting them away for future reference. We tend to have strongly developed curiosity, a good memory for detail, lie for a living and can be quite sneaky.

Q: What is your favourite food memory?

CR: My mother’s roast ham with broad beans and new potatoes from the garden and fresh parsley sauce.

Q: Do you have another book in the works?

CR: I do. I’m working on the proposal right now but it is too early to say any more about it.

Q: What are you currently reading?

CR: I’m reading the Grey King by Susan Cooper. It is part of her “The Dark is Rising” series. The Dark is Rising, the second novel, is one of my favourite midwinter reads and I got sucked into re-reading the rest of the series. It is also background for a bit of an idea I have for a book…


Q: Wine or cocktail?

CR: Wine

Q: Sweet or salty?

CR: Salty

Q: Tea or coffee?

CR: Umm, tough one… but has to be tea.

Q: Travel or the comfort of home?

CR: Travel

Q: Comfort foods or Haut Cuisine?

CR: Haute Cuisine