I’m writing this on Australia Day, and there are a couple of Aussies occupying food headlines in my book at the moment, so seemed appropriate to feature some of the great cooks and cooking come out of Australia. So, advance Australia’s fair cooks, here’s my choices:
* John Torode’s Beef – hard to avoid John at the moment, thanks to the return of Masterchef. And it’s been great to see him running the kitchen, to remind us that he’s not just that bloke on the telly, but a bloke that can cook. I associate him most with beef, and bet this is a bloke’s kind of cookbook, but as I love my beef, I think I’d cook lots from this too.
* Every Day by Bill Granger – I might well have put this one in before, as it is my fave of the several Bill Granger books I have, and love. I am really thrilled to learn he has opened a restaurant in London, as a lot more chance of me eating there than one of his Australian ones (updated link in 2015, as I did eat in one of his Australian ones!). I’ve also written before about how I love breakfast, and this one has great breakfast and brunch recipes in, which are well thumbed in my copy!
* Charmaine Solomon’s Complete Vegetarian Cookbook – not the most up to date choice, but when I went through a veggie phase in my 20s, this was my cookbook bible, along with the Moosewood cookbook. I still remember the cheese soufflé stuffed red pepper that was a real fave. The fact that I was cooking it in a bedsit with only a handwhisk to hand is not a part I wish to repeat, but the dishes in the book were definitely worth revisiting.
* Kids’ Birthday Cakes from Australian Women’s Weekly – I wasn’t sure which one to pick from AWW, but this is the first one I ever bought. If you ever want simple cakes that will send kids high as kites with sugar and colourings, this is the one for you. That said, kids love the cakes!
* Quay by Peter Gilmore – I know very little about Peter Gilmore, I only know from looking at this book that the food and the restaurant looks like what I perceive to be quintessentially Australian. I know we don’t always have the weather for these dishes, but there is something incredibly appetising about so many of these!
Maybe these are a good way of bringing some of the Aussie sunshine into the kitchen during our cold, grey days of winter, as we start to think again of lighter summer eating.