It was so lovely to have a get together with my friends and test cooks and have a little party to celebrate the launch of my Columbo book. Yes! It really exists!

I can’t quite believe the book is out in the world, but it is!  It’s available on Amazon, via Smashwords, and soon you’ll be able to order it from all good bookshops and libraries.  Amazing!

You can buy direct from me if you are in the UK – you’ll get a free bookmark – whoopee!  Just get in touch via the Contact page and I’ll email you back with details.

Yeah, Barnes and Noble!

Here are a few pix of some of the fabulous folk who came down to celebrate.  I thought it might be fun for those of you who have a copy of the book to put some test cook faces to names. I was rushing around a bit so didn’t get photos of everyone who came, but I want to say a big thank-you to everyone who came down to support me.  It was a big day for me and I loved every single minute!  My only regret is that I didn’t get around to putting on the hat my lovely Shellac Sister and milliner Jane Fryers brought all the way from Hastings for me so I could pretend to be Mariette Hartley in Publish or Perish.

Much missed were food photographer and writer Joan Ransley (she was in the wilds of Scotland)  who took the lovely cover pic of Peter Falk’s Pumpkin Lasagne, Greg Swenson of Recipes for Rebels who designed the cover and has done SO MUCH towards the making of this book, and my Columbo hero Columbophile who wrote the foreword (it’s a long way to London from Australia…)  Thank you all so much for your support, time and effort.  I raise a glass of #liquidfilth to all three of you.

Before we get into the pix – just to say that Columbophile is running a competition with a copy of my book as a prize.  So skip on over there and have a go!  Closing date is 1st March!  If you are a Columbo fan, the Columbophile site is just a joy, do check it out.

Don’t worry if you participated in the Columbo Bowl Chili Cook-along and are desperate to win the Columbo finger puppet made by Ding Dong Designs…

You will see one in these pix, but there are TWINS and there is another for the cook-along prize.  Right – launch party pix!!!!

Yes, I wore a Columbo-style raincoat – of course!


First purchaser!  Lovely “local call” Ben from the bfi.

Columbo’s youngest fan, my neighbour Sunny DiFrancesco with host of the Museum of Soho Radio Hour Mark Brisenden in the background.  Mark tested the Nicol Williamson’s Steak Mince and Stovies recipe (his report coming soon in a blog post).

I love Columbo, but I love Mr R. more.  There he is on the left during the drawing of the raffle.  He’s been an absolute BRICK through the whole process.  What a lovely man!  My brother Guy, seen on the right won the Ashes to Ashes jigsaw.  Will he do it?  I will pester him until he does.  Seen front right, my genius nephew who has resurrected the dormant family business, the Hammerton Brewery – producing the best #liquidfilth in the world.  Adrian Carsini would definitely have been a fan.

With the awesome Helen of Dinner With Zelda Manners, Helen created the veggie version of the Johnny Cash Chili that you’ll find in the book.  Her hubby Dave won the “smoking” cigars in the raffle and she is sporting one in this photo.

The Cedar Court bunch – Corinna, Vic and Deborah – Corinna tested the Robert Vaughn Fettuccine Alfredo recipe and Vic tested the Ian McShane Salmon Steaks With Watercress Sauce.  Both were delicious and it was so much fun to be invited to partake of a Cooking With Columbo dish prepared by someone else!

This also happened when Sanja and Sasa invited me over for Ross Martin’s Beef in Anchovy Cream.  This is my all-time #1 movie star recipe so I LOVED going to their place to eat two huge portions of it!

With my darling Shellac Sister Theo.  The Burrow family tested Olympia Dukakis’ Greek Meatballs recipe and everyone loved it!  A good one for kids, just as Olympia said it would be.

My hero and mentor, and the best chef I know, Alastair Hendy.  We love owls.

My fellow Bread Angel and fan of Juliet Mills’ Hoppin’ John, Ma Baker aka Liz Wilson. Lovely test cook Gaye Fisher of  Sticky Mitts also came to the party but I didn’t get a snap of her.  

Check out their brilliant bread making courses.

My chum in sourdough and Jane Fonda workouts, Dee.

78rpm DJ posse!   Greg’s Greats 78s, Hilary, DJ Karla Chameleon and her beau.  Karla tested the fab Lee Grant’s Malibu Chicken recipe.  Her report coming soon on the blog.  Check out Greg’s Kipper The Cat radio show!

It was SO LOVELY to meet Kiran and “Culture Bunker” in person, after tweeting with them many times during the monthly #ColumboTV tweetalong. So much fun to meet e-chums in the real world!  

Their gift of #liquidfilth was much appreciated!

Much beloved Peter Fuller curator of the Vincent Price Legacy UK tested LOTS of recipes for me.  I laughed so much at his report on Anne Baxter’s Genuine Swiss Quiche – moral of his story – do not use a tin with a removable base…  Photographic evidence of the results of that misadventure coming soon!

Mr Rathbone’s work colleague, known to me as “Columbo Ben” put together a brilliant soundtrack for the party – 3 bumper CDs of cop show themes – so brilliant.  And totally appropriate that the theme from Charlie’s Angels was playing as I posed for a photo with my darling ex-flatmates the “Ladies of the 43” Lucy and Gaby.  Note me attempting to make gun shapes whilst still promoting my book!

Look who won the finger puppet in the raffle!  Mr R’s DJ partner at the awesome Nitty Gritty club night Debbie Smith.  There was much exuberant swearing and excitement from Debbie when her raffle ticket was drawn – appropriately ticket #1 – she got there early!  Test cook Arike is seen in the background.  She and Dylan made Jack Cassidy’s Trout in a Pouch – yum!

Oh, what a fun, fun book launch it was.  Love all my lovely chums.  Love Columbo.  Love everything!  After all that excitement, I am going to make like Celeste Holm in Old Fashioned Murder and have a lie down with some smelling salts…  I may be resting for some time…


Monthly movie star menus direct to your inbox

You have Successfully Subscribed!