The first Beyond Baked Beans book was published eight years ago by Absolute Press in response to my feeling that students were no longer eating the kind of food that you found in the average student cookbook. At least our kids weren't. Like most of their contemporaries they'd travelled a fair bit and eaten out at a variety of different kinds of restaurants so the idea of smothering a can of tuna with a tin of mushroom soup and sprinkling a few smashed up crisps on top didn't really appeal.
The book did far better than we ever could have imagined so was quickly followed by a vegetarian version (Beyond Baked Beans Green) then, in response to the feedback we'd been getting that many students cooked just for themselves, by Beyond Baked Beans Budget.
A couple of years later we pulled all the best recipes together into The Ultimate Student Cookbook with the help of three then students, Signe Johansen, Guy Millon and James Ramsden who also contributed recipes of their own. Sig and James have gone on to write their own cookbooks, Scandilicious and Small Adventures in Cooking.
From the early days we also had a website which enabled me to highlight recipes that were based on produce that was in season. We also have our own Beyond Baked Beans Student Cooking Page on Facebook on which many of you have uploaded videos, recipes and tips. We also have a couple of regular contributors (see below) but are always looking for more.
We hope the site will be useful not only to students but others of you who have recently left home or who are struggling to make ends meet. If you'd like to contribute tips and recipes we'd love to hear from you. In the meantime here's a little bit about us:
Fiona has been a student (twice) and has also been on the receiving end of endless calls from her 4 children - which still go on now - about how to cook everthing from mushrooms in a microwave to a Sunday roast. She’s also an award-winning journalist and cookery writer who has written for most of the national press from the People to the Guardian for whom she currently writes a regular wine column. Apart from the Beyond Baked Beans titles she has written 18 other books including The Healthy Lunchbox, Sausage and Mash, Meat and Two Veg and The Frugal Cook which also has its own blog. You can follow her on Twitter @food_writer.
Emma recently graduated from Oxford, where she studied English. During her degree she spent most of her spare time thinking about food, cooking, photographing food or writing her blog, Poires au Chocolat (@poireschocolat). She even wrote a finals paper on taste and memory in modern food memoirs and Joyce, Woolf and Proust. Emma is currently a student at Le Cordon Bleu in London, studying patisserie. She hopes her future includes more cooking, food writing and food photography.
Elly says "she has spent the last four years juggling two Oxford degrees and a passion for the Arthurian legend with a love of all things edible, particularly those involving fruit and/or baking". While at Oxford she was president of the Food Society and managed to acquire an orange belt qualification in kickboxing. She's currently living - and tutoring - in Cambridge - when she's not writing about food. She has her own blog Nutmegs, Seven (@nutmegs_seven on Twitter).