A Week in the Kitchen and Another Week in the Kitchen detailed Karen Dudley’s rise from caterer to restaurateur to author and veritable food celebrity. Her latest book, Set a Table (Jacana Media), documents her food philosophy: how food is about people connecting, putting down their cellphones, being present in the moment, and giving and receiving of themselves and the dishes in front of them. It goes a long way to explaining just why the ever-burgeoning popularity of The Kitchen meant the restaurant needed to expand.

Here is an extract from Set a Table:

“Let’s not beat around the ; it’s a big deal hosting a dinner party – whether it’s for strangers, acquaintances, family or friends. By the time the first guests arrive and I hear ‘They’re here!’, my poor family has already been sergeant-majored for an hour. “Have you picked up your stuff in the passage? Is there a fresh towel in the guest loo? Is the ice ready?” I regard it as a major accomplishment to have made it out of the shower before the guests arrive! If I’m good, I might even have rushed some lipstick on before the dogs go clattering across the floor towards the front door when the doorbell rings.

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