Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 617

12 22 SEPTEMBER 2022 News&Views The outside temperature has hit 30ºC and shows no sign of giving up its fierce pursuit of 40. It’s not even co ee time. Records are set to break, sales of fans to rocket. Headline writers are polishing the word ‘unprecedented’. Scorching temperatures aside, Claudia Roden, 86, shrugs o the heat like a pro. “You know, in Cairo, 40 degrees and even hotter was normal, and we didn’t have air conditioning. It doesn’t bother me,” she says. The Egypt-born food writer sounds calm, practical and unflustered over the phone fromher North London home. She’s in her book-lined study, the windows and curtains shut tight against the city’s summer heat because “it’s what we’ve been told to do”. She will move between here and her kitchen, a room largely unchanged since shemoved in with her children almost 50 years ago. Work distracts. It might be writing, a talk or lecture, checking recipes for amagazine feature or preparing for the launch of the 25th anniversary edition of her groundbreaking The Book of Jewish Food. “I’mworking on lots of things. For me, work is about puttingmymind to something that interests me. I forget about the heat. Every so often, I go downstairs to drink andmake something to eat,” she says. That meal might be the results of recipe testing, or leftovers froma recent gathering –maybe a portion of FUTURE PROOF Claudia Roden began collecting recipes to preserve her culture after enforced exile fromher native Egypt. The books that followed established her as one of the greatest foodwriters – and there’s more to come, writes Tessa Allingham