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Aussie Chefs' Cookbooks


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I'm going to a book launch for 1080 in a week so I guess it will be on the shelves any day now. I had a little smile over the name as 10-80 is well known in New Zealand as a possum poison, so the PR people said they taking pains to call it "One thousand and eighty".

Pier is an immensely attractive book. The food and the photography are beautiful - apart from the steamed whiting with clams, spinach and vongole foam which looks like distressingly like a collection of fishy bits sitting in detergent.

Other foodie books about to be released include Soffritto - A Delicious Ligurian Memoir, the story of Lucio Galletto who emigrated to Australia; Marco Pierre White in Hell's Kitchen, a new Nigella Lawson book Nigella Express, How to feed your friends with Relish, by food writer Joanna Weinberg who writes mostly for The Times. Another interesting coffee table book is My Last Supper where 50 top chefs tell what they'd like to eat, who they'd invite to share etc. Tetsuya Wakuda is among them. There's a swag more due by Christmas.

I have a Books for Cooks section on my website if anyone is interested.

Website: http://cookingdownunder.com

Blog: http://cookingdownunder.com/blog

Twitter: @patinoz

The floggings will continue until morale improves

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Speaking of Maggie Beer, has anyone else been enjoying 'The Cook and The Chef' on abc?

I think it's great, best cooking show i've seen in ages.

It's possible to download episodes as vodcasts and watch them on your computer or iPod. Here's a link. I was at a luncheon last week hosted by the South Australia Tourism people and "The Chef" Simon Bryant prepared the meal from SA ingredients. It was beautiful.

Website: http://cookingdownunder.com

Blog: http://cookingdownunder.com/blog

Twitter: @patinoz

The floggings will continue until morale improves

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I got a copy of Shannon Bennett's "My Vue" from him at the Star Chefs conference in New York. He had flown from Melbourne the day before but was still composed enough to give a very good demonstration.

Nicely presented book with a nice backgrounder on Shannon, good recipes and some interesting illustrations. The book clearly reflects Shannon, who I enjoyed meeting. It is definitely worth a look.

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re Maggie's Harvest: This is a wonderful book, perhaps to become one of the iconic works in Australian cookery-focused gastronomic literature, alongside Stephanie Alexander's Cook's Companion (and a few others). I've reviewed it here.

re Movida: it certainly smells a bit odd, though I think it might grow on you. LOL. The loose heavy paper cover adds, perhaps, to the flimsy impression, but at least it folds out to form a groovy (or irrelevant) poster;) As a whole, the production value of the book is visually impressive but physically odd -- I assume this is part of the increasingly innovative (but not always user-friendly) design of cookbooks. I hate to think how much those costs affect price points/author fees/editing/etc!

-- lamington a.k.a. Duncan Markham

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - collaborative book reviews about all things food and wine

Syrup & Tang - candid commentary and flavourful fancies

"It's healthy. It's cake. It's chocolate cake."

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I have just seen the new cook book which looks like a must have for seafood aficionados.

PIER by Greg Doyle

Beautifully constructed book with matching photographs per recipe.

RRP $85 AU

I have seen it for as low as $68 AU on the

http://www.cookbooks.com.au website

Smell and taste are in fact but a single composite sense, whose laboratory is the mouth and its chimney the nose. - Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

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I got a copy of Shannon Bennett's "My Vue" from him at the Star Chefs conference in New York.  He had flown from Melbourne the day before but was still composed enough to give a very good demonstration.

Speaking of Shannon Bennett, he's got his 2nd cookbook out. It's titled, "My French Vue - Bistro Cooking At Home" and it costs $49.95.

I had a flick through it, and I think the Justin North book is a better buy.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

"The Press Club - Modern Greek Cookery" by George Columbaris is out for $45. I haven't been to the Press Club, but from looking at the cookbook, I think I'll be heading there. From the book, it looks like Greek cooking meets haute French.

"Cooking At Home" by Karen Martini is now available for $55. I think it's a collection of recipes from her newspaper column.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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Quite a few more new cookbooks in the shops, but these two caught my eye:

"Eat Ate" by Guy Mirabella. It's $49.95, covers Italian food (no recipes that you wouldn't have in other Italian coobkooks), but it is a very attractive book. Buy it for the pretty pictures.

There's also "Tree To Table - Cooking With Australian Olive Oil" by Patrice Newell. It'll set you back $59.95. The first part covers the Australian olive oil industry (history, how the oil is made etc) and the second has recipes from many Australian chefs.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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  • 1 month later...

I browsed it in a book shop the other day and I'm quite keen to take a closer look at the Press Club cookbook. I've never tasted his food myself, but I've heard nothing but good things about George Calombaris' cooking.

Dr. Zoidberg: Goose liver? Fish eggs? Where's the goose? Where's the fish?

Elzar: Hey, that's what rich people eat. The garbage parts of the food.

My blog: The second pancake

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've noticed a number of references on this thread to Greg Doyle's Pier cookbook but no review as yet.

It is a very well produced volume with lovely photos reflecting the delicate and complex food created by Doyle as well as the picturesque location of the restaurant.

The food photos show a level of presentation that will provide a standard to strive for and not just for the recipes contained in the book.

Doyle's food takes the very best produce, mainly seafood, and adds a set of flavour and texture combinations that bring out the best in ingredients. With food influences ranging from Ferran Adria (soy mirin pearls made with calcic, citras, and algin), his time in a two-star Michelin restaurant in the mid 1990s, as well as the Asia-Pacific fusion that Australia has embraced, Asian flavours mix with modern European to give unique tastes that cannot be approached from one culinary tradition alone.

Most of the recipes are accessible for a moderately experienced home cook, although a few involve a series of processes that almost require a warning "don't try this at home." One dish I made involved creating a fish stock, a veloute sauce, hand made pasta to make crab ravioli, and an extremely delicate vegetable nage. The product was exceptional but be prepared to put in a lot of effort on some of the dishes: personally, I think the return was well worth the effort.

At $85 for the hardback, it is not a cheap book but if you want a top level seafood cookbook that shows top level cuisine at its finest you would be hard pressed to find better.

The pictures alone make it a coffee table book for you and your visitors to admire. If you choose prepare the recipes and use Doyle's presentation, be prepared to accept accolades from your friends.

With a steadily expanding collection of cookbooks starting from when I was fifteen years old, I'm a bit fussy about what I buy now. Even skimming through the book, I knew that this was one I had to have and my use of it since has supported this decision.

Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Okay so this doesn't exactly go under 'books', but has anyone watched Kylie Kwong's new My China tv series (based on her cookbook)?

How is it? Too bad I don't have cable tv anymore argh! :(

I've seen some of them.

It seems to be more a "Kylie discovers her ethnic roots" and cooking travelogue that a full blown cooking show like her previous efforts.

It's interesting in a travel channel/journey of personal discovery sense.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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"The Press Club - Modern Greek Cookery" by George Columbaris is out for $45.  I haven't been to the Press Club, but from looking at the cookbook, I think I'll be heading there.  From the book, it looks like Greek cooking meets haute French.

Love the restaurant and the food. The book is good, the interesting dishes that I have eaten at The Press Club, but the book has quite a few errors and omissions.

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  • 3 months later...

On the New Zealand front, things have been a little quiet so far this year, and most of the touted books are from Australia or the UK. Julie Le Clerc has released a combined title @ home, with love that binds the cafe @ home and feast @ home together under one single title.

Martin Bosley has released his first cookbook Martin Bosley Cooks (Published by Random House New Zealand, 15 August 2008) and should be being put on the bookshop shelves as we are speaking. Bosley is the chef-owner of the Martin Bosley’s restaurant in Wellington and it was awarded the 2007 Restaurant of the Year [in New Zealand] by the Cuisine magazine. This book records his recipes geared towards home cooks that were previously published in the Listener magazine. My very superficial impression is that it is probably not breaking a lot of new grounds if you are already relying on the likes of Stephanie Alexander, Karen Martini, and Shannon Bennetts for cooking inspiration. The recipes are probably indistinguishable from the Australian counterparts apart from NZ ingredients, and overlap a lot with Julie Le Clerc on the cherry-picking-global-cooking style. Still, if you are a fan of Bosley it is worthwhile to get a copy.

Edited by johung (log)
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Speaking of new cookbooks, does anyone know if there will be new specialist chefs/restaurant cookbooks released in the immediate future, in either New Zealand or Australia?

Edited by johung (log)
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  • 3 weeks later...

One newish cookbook in NZ but not introduced here until now is A Cook's Bible by Lesley Christensen-Yule and Hamish McRae (Penguin, Auckland, 2007). It is a fundamental overview of how to cook from a first decade of the 21st century NZ viewpoint. Christensen-Yule and McRae are with the Auckland University of Technology's School of Hospitality and Tourism and both co-authored The New Zealand Chef for training professional chefs.

This book is a more serious introduction to cooking than Alison Holst and certainly Allyson Gofton. It starts by discussing how to choose fresh food items and proceeds to covering all fundamental cooking and preparation techniques. Some techniques, such as lardons or preparing making pate, are probably unlikely to ever be used in most NZ homes but they are included as some serious cooks may use them, but others, such as how to chop garlic and how to steam, will likely be of immense help to young people (in both age and heart) who have never had opportunity to learn them properly.

Recipes range from traditional favourites such as roast beef to 21st century Pacific-Rim such as stir-fried paua (abalone) with celery and fresh herbs. Asian noodles are treated as "normal" i.e. non-ethnic ingredients as pasta. My impression is the dishes tend to lean on what restaurant or gourmet will try, and certainly it will find more resonance in urban restaurants and wineyard restaurants than West Coast country style cooking.

If your concept of NZ cuisine remains at colonial goose, pavlova, fish and chips, and lamb and mint sauce levels you will find this book too "Jafaish" (the derogatory term the rest of NZ uses on Auckland) and Pacific-Rim rather than native NZ. Otherwise, I believe 90% of people will enjoy what it showcases: mainstream NZ cuisine in 2007.

Edit: From amazon.co.uk this title will be released globally on 4 Nov this year http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cooks-Bible-Teache...21182596&sr=1-1 .

Edited by johung (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...
QUOTE(Shinboners @ Feb 3 2005, 03:57 PM

)

And I'm going to see if I can track down a copy of the Est Est Est cookbook too.

Good luck - sa far i can't claim success in this quest :sad:

Good luck - we have  along wait list and haven't seen one for months.  The book was remaindered about 2 years ago and since then has become a chef's must have book.  We've tried all sorts of avenues without success - the $90 bit seems a bit rich though - our price would be around $50-$60 if new

Three and a half years later, a copy of the Est Est Est comes up for sale on eBay. There's about 8 hours to go in the auction, but the highest bid is now $90! The way it's going, it'll go for over $150.

I've seen second hand copies of the book on sale on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, and all are available for well over $300.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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