Pippa Middleton: I learned to cook in a pub says newly-published author

I learned to cook in a pub says Pippa Middleton as she talks of her passion for entertaining

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UPDATED:

13:17 GMT, 4 November 2012

Newly-published author Pippa Middleton has revealed that she learned how to cook while working as a kitchen assistant in her local gastro-pub during her gap year.

Having received less-than-glowing reviews for Celebrate, her self-penned party guide, Pippa has now spoken out to defend herself – highlighting her culinary expertise and insisting to any naysayers that she is a ‘real foodie.’

Clearly keen to prove her culinary skills to those critics who’ve slammed her recipes, Pippa has written how learning to cook in a Berkshire pub for a couple of months set her on the road to dinner party prowess.

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Speaking out: After receiving less-than-rave reviews for her entertaining manual, Pippa has written how she learned to cook in her local pub and picked up her hostessing skills from her mum

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph Pippa shows off that for her last dinner party slow-braised pig’s cheeks were on the menu.

‘I didn’t tell anyone what was in it in case I put them off, but it was a huge success. Pigeon-breast salad and venison stew also appear regularly on my dinner-party menu,’ she writes in the paper.

The salad, she says, was a dish she picked up when she spent a few months working as a kitchen assistant at her local pub before heading up to Edinburgh University.

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Party Queen: After launching Celebrate last week, Pippa has now written in The Sunday Telegraph about her expertise in the kitchen and insisting to any naysayers that she is a 'real foodie'

‘I reached the dizzy heights of chief ‘ciabatta roll-maker’, stuffing ox-tongue and horseradish into baguettes every lunchtime,’ Pippa jokes.

Recipes for muntjac ragu, rabbit casserole and a ‘divine’ lemon tart were others she took away from the gastro pub.

Pippa, who famously received a staggering 400,000 advance for Celebrate, also pinpoints a cookery course she did on her gap year as the moment she became a ‘foodie’.

The Duchess of Cambridge's younger
sister says she left The Grange cookery school in Frome, Somerset, where
a month-long course costs 3,770, a ‘real enthusiast’ rather than an
‘incredible cook.’

Fresh
from The Grange, Pippa made business cards emblazoned with the name of
her first catering company – Mange Tout, a name she admits to still
cringing about.

Known as Perfect Pippa at university, the 29-year-old confesses how she’d test recipes out on her fellow students.

She
modestly recounts the time up when her attempt at jugged hare went
wrong but says her pies were always popular and that her sushi went down
a storm.

Another
mishap came one Valentine’s Day where Pippa held a dinner party ‘to
avoid the awkwardness of not being invited on a date.’

Ambitiously opting to cook a red-themed menu, she attempted Tom Aitken’s beetroot gratin.

However,
rather than battle with raw beetroot, Pippa chose the pre-cooked kind,
which led to the dish being ‘bright pink’ rather than a ‘glorious
burgundy.’

In the
article, Pippa also defends her decision to not write about the ‘most
extravagant’ entertaining – arguing that she wanted Celebrate to be
‘simple and comforting.’

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Launch: Pippa, pictured at her book launch with her younger brother James, mother Carole and father Michael, says that she wanted Celebrate to be 'simple and comforting'

Had she wanted to write a book about more elaborate occasions, she could have done, she says, pointing out her three years working for Table Talk, a London-based party planning business.

Pippa reveals that the craft ideas featured in the book, which costs 25, were devised with her granny in mind, and outs herself as a ‘huge fan’ of Mary Berry.

While she honed her cooking skills in a pub and at a prestigious Somerset cooking school, Pippa credits her hostessing abilities to her mum.

She describes a household where everyone had to ‘muck in’ by helping lay the table or serve the food.

She recalls: ‘As children we had to eat absolutely everything, which is probably why I am such a foodie now as nothing really puts me off: kidneys, oysters, mussels, liver, I like it all.’

Pippa’s 417-page entertaining 'bible' was launched last week and, despite some harsh reviews, is set to become a Christmas bestseller.

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Experienced: Pippa, who has been spotted several times with Tom Kingston recently, has highlighted that she has been on a cookery course and worked for a party planning business for three years

Tips from party queen Pippa include how to throwing the perfecting Highland tea and rustling up a quick 'venison and beetroot stew'.

One of the book's more eye-catching chapters is dedicated to breakfast which, Pippa says helpfully, can be 'anything from a simple pot of tea with a few digestive biscuits' to a fully laden tray.

For a special breakfast she advises decanting milk into a jug rather than serving it in a carton. She also suggesting serving a boiled with soldiers liberally spread with smoked mackerel or trout pate and includes recipes for each

There is also a segment dedicated on how to make a cup of tea or roast a chicken as well as rustle up some remarkably pretty home-made Christmas decorations or some haggis and filo parcels for Burns Night.

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Hostess with the mostess: Pippa credits her family, a local pub, a posh cookery school and working at a London-based party planning business as how she learned to throw the perfect dinner party