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Have yourselves a Mary Berry Christmas as top chef’s recipe book becomes a No 1

She’s already been made a dame this year but now TV chef Mary Berry has got a crown to go with her title.

Mary has become celebrity chef author queen for 2020 after getting her latest book, Mary Berry’s Simple Comforts, to the top of the Tesco recipe book charts in time for Christmas.

She edged out all-time record holding celebrity chef author Jamie Oliver and his book 7 Ways.

And she also faced some heavyweight competition from returning legend Nigella Lawson, releasing her first recipe book in three years, as well as the latest literary offering by Yotam Ottolenghi.  

Tesco book buyer Beth Farrar said:

“What an incredible year Mary has already had after receiving her damehood. Hopefully getting a number one best seller at Christmas will be the cherry on the cake for her.

“This year, recipe books have been extremely popular because of the two lockdowns which have given many people more time to go into their kitchens and cook from scratch as well as bake.”

Demand for celebrity chef cookery books historically soars over the festive period and sales at this time account for more than a third of the annual food book market.

But this year demand has been boosted by the biggest return to scratch cooking for decades, brought on by the two lockdowns.

According to Kantar data, the initial lockdown months of March until May saw half a billion more meals made from scratch at home compared with an average 12 week period in the last year.

While pubs and restaurants were closed, many people, having more time on their hands, brushed up on their cookery skills and began digging out recipes for meals.

The top five books in the Tesco celebrity cookery book chart are as follows:

  1. Mary Berry – Mary Berry’s Simple Comforts
  2. Jamie Oliver – 7 Ways
  3. Nadiya Hussein – Nadiya Bakes
  4. Kate Allinson & Kay Featherstone – Pinch Of Nom Everyday Light
  5. Dr Clare Bailey – The Fast 800 Recipe Book
  6. Ottolenghi – Flavour
  7. The Hairy Bikers – Veggie Feasts
  8. Great British Bake Off – Love To Bake
  9. Kate Allinson & Kay Feathestone – Pinch Of Nom
  10. Henry Firth & Ian Theasby – Speedy Bosh

Other recent No 1 celebrity chef book authors include the ever popular Jamie Oliver, Joe Wicks, Gino D’Acampo and The Hairy Bikers.

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