Sometimes it takes a while to get an idea out of your brain and onto the page. In my case, it took several years.

Back in 2009, I was living in Cambridge waiting for my PhD results – so I had time on my hands. I made two resolutions: first to catch up on about six years of reading; and second to improve my cooking skills.

The first was because I hadn’t had much time to read for fun during grad school and missed it. The second (I’m a bit embarrassed to admit) was down to old school sibling rivalry.

My brother, Eric, had just graduated from the French Culinary Institute. One evening he criticized my ‘god-awful knife skills’. Yeah, that was it.

I read and cooked, and the two things kind of merged. Eric and I got excited about all the different fictional foods out there and Parbake & Prose was born.

So what’s Parbake & Prose? Well, we take a look at great works of literature, from Greek epic poems to modern classics, and create recipes based on the what, when and who. In terms of cooking difficulty level, there’s something for everyone: if a dish appears at a royal banquet, it’s more complicated than something made on the prairie, just as you’d expect.

We’re going to focus on one book a month – posting a reading and a recipe inspired by the text. Plus some extra bits. We hope that people who come for the food start looking at the books and vice versa. If you have any questions or comments or suggestions for the site, please contact us or comment on a post.

We’ve had a lot of fun with this over the past few years. We hope you do too.