Desert Island Books


Mind, body and spirit are at the heart of the award-winning TV chef and cookery book writer’s castaway choices


 Words by Selma Day

The Five Tibetans by Christopher S Kilham

Five dynamic exercises for health, energy and personal power. This actually healed my sciatica and, even though I practise it (almost) daily, I would need it to remind me to keep healthy and strong. After practising it, I always feel my chakras have had a good cleanse and am enveloped in a rainbow glow – renewed, recharged, ready to go foraging on the island…

The RHS – How to Grow Practically Everything by Lia Leendertz and Zia Allaway

Everything one needs to know about growing anything one’s heart desires, from spring bulbs to a tiny orchard or tasty root crops. I suspect I will have plenty of time on the island to grow all sorts of tasty treats to continue with my cooking passions and, of course, to carry on sustaining oneself without my weekly online shop from Waitrose!

The Monet Cookbook by Florence Gentner

I adore the maestro’s works of art, having travelled to galleries around the world to get up close to his work, I have an obsession. I bought this book at The Louvre in Paris and it includes a collection of his artwork and his favourite recipes cooked for him by his household at his home in Giverny. I imagine sitting on the beach, soaking up every nuance in his magical misty paintings – flipping through the pages and having access to his art and food at my fingertips will be a great way for me to escape any monotony of daily desert-island life.

The Road to Serenity by Philip Huang

My father wrote this book of his journey as an immigrant around the world, a biography of his life experiences and challenges, which he has always faced with a sense of calm, centred in peace and joy. His reflections offer a different perspective – basically, part of my life documented through his lens.

The Seat of The Soul by Gary Yukav

I first heard of this book from Oprah Winfrey’s book club and it’s become my spiritual bible. It’s a lesson in spiritual psychology and imparts wisdom for the health and strength of one’s soul. Gary teaches us to look beyond the physical self and sheds light on how we can tap into our authentic power, the greater cosmos, and how our life transformations could have an impact on the evolution of the human species.

Floyd – Out of the Frying Pan Keith Floyd

Legendary Keith is one of the reasons I aspired to be a TV chef! His fun, often laugh-out-loud segments on his cooking shows are priceless… him on a fishing ship in a thunderous storm springs to mind! His autobiography is funny, moving and joyous…his exuberant personality shines through.

Ching’s book Asian Green (Everyday plant- based recipes inspired by the East) is out now (Kyle Books, £20).