Littlebury students go nudie for foodie as they launch naked student cookbook

The Naked Student Cookbook

The Naked Student Cookbook - Credit: Archant

IN scenes reminiscent of hit film Calendar Girls, students up and down the land have been stripping off for a novel cookbook idea born on Saffron Walden Common.

The Naked Student Cookbook

The Naked Student Cookbook - Credit: Archant

It all began last summer when best friends Mimi Williams and Kinvara Hubbard, both 21, came up with the risqué concept as a way of encouraging university students to enhance their culinary skills.

The Naked Student Cookbook

The Naked Student Cookbook - Credit: Archant

The girls, who hail from Littlebury, set about the mammoth task of not only writing almost 100 recipes but also producing and publishing them in a book with a twist.

“Unlike Calendar Girls, we didn’t have any problem persuading university students to get naked for the photo shoots,” said Mimi, a second year law and French student at Leeds University.

“Most of them jumped at the opportunity to strip off and we ended up with about 60 of our friends who agreed to take part. The challenge was organising the shoots in and around Edinburgh, Leeds and Newcastle at popular student hangouts.”

The idea first sprang to mind at a drinks party when Kinvara and Mimi were innocuously flicking through a cookbook with a few friends.

“It wasn’t very eye-catching and we thought we could do a lot better by creating a cookbook for students, by students,” said Kinvara. “We came up with recipe ideas on the Common last August and it went from there. We’re both doing degrees at different universities but it has taken over our lives.”

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Each recipe has a difficulty rating ranging from one star, the equivalent of a boiled egg, to five stars for Come Dine with Me-style dinner party dishes – reflecting the growing trend of students imitating the hit TV show. There is also an estimated cost for each meal and a QR code, a black-and-white square barcode, which transfers the list of ingredients to a smartphone when scanned.

The Naked Student Cookbook was put together with the help of fellow students’ creative talents and self-published by the girls under the expert guidance of Lizzie Sanders, a publishing editor who lives opposite Kinvara in Littlebury.

“We are so grateful to Lizzie for helping us – she gave us some fantastic advice and stressed how much hard work was needed from her experience of publishing books,” said Kinvara, who is studying philosophy at Edinburgh University.”

The girls are hoping they can break into the fiercely competitive market of cookbooks and will be appearing at a series of fairs and markets around the UK to help promote their finished article.

“We think we’ve produced something that’s different to anything else out there,” Mimi added.

“All students are given a cookbook of one type or another by their parents when they go off to university but these tend to gather dust or get lost under the growing rubble of takeaway boxes!

“You can bet your student loan that our book will be read from cover to cover.”

• The Naked Student Cookbook can be purchased from Amazon or by visiting