IN THE introduction to The Essential Camping Cookbook, Bear Grylls, UK chief Scout, says that he has eaten: "Some pretty unusual things in my time and not always pleasant; but you'll be pleased to know that this book will not be teaching you how to cook a sheep's eyeball or a hairy tarantula! This isn't survival, it is the outdoors made tasty." Author, Nick Allen, is a professional chef who has been involved in Scouting since the age of six. Currently sous chef at the Coworth Park Hotel, Sunningdale, Nick, an assistant Scout leader, has travelled the world on Scouting expeditions and has cooked at many a jamboree.

The book features delicious outdoor dishes that anyone can create and these include fresh trout cooked in newspaper in the embers of a fire, creamy mushroom risotto and old favourites like 'the damper', a type of bread which hails from Australia, and is often made on camping trips.

Food always tastes better outdoors and in the book, there is advice on techniques the Scouts have used for decades, from how to make your own oven to burying porridge before you go to sleep so it is still hot in the morning. There are tips and tricks which will amaze friends and family and skills to learn and pass on. w Drawing on the know-how and expertise of The Scout Association, this inspirational cookbook is packed with recipes from celebrity ex-Scouts including Levi Roots, James Martin, Richard Hammond, Jeremy Paxman and Ray Mears. It caters perfectly for the growing interest in outdoor cooking and camping, the boom in barbecuing, festival-going and 'staycations'.

Beginners can learn how to cook an egg in an orange and seasoned campers can turn their talents to Everest stew from Bear Grylls, with or without the yak, and dishes like grilled Halloumi with pea, broad bean and mint salad.

Alongside traditional campfire favourites you will find more than 80 recipes for curries, spicy stews, exotic barbecues and one-pot dishes. Michael Palin offers oxygen tart, Stephen Fry gives his version of honey buns, and there is also information on cooking on an open fire, and using pit ovens with improvised utensils. At the back of the book are some popular campfire songs.

The Essential Camping Cookbook was published on June 7, it is priced �20 for the hardback edition. Available from major book retail outlets.