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Australian Cookbooks

OldBay Dec 29, 2009 04:32 PM

Any recommendations Re: Australian Cookbooks? The only lead I have now is the books by Donna Hay.



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  1. MsJK RE: OldBay Dec 29, 2009 06:24 PM

    I can't get by without Stephanie Alexander's Cook's Companion:


    10 Replies
    1. re: MsJK
      higgy RE: MsJK Dec 29, 2009 08:26 PM

      Agree with Stephanie - number 1 reference for Australian food. Also have a look at Neil Perry's Food I love and balance and Harmony. The recipes do work!

      1. re: MsJK
        mr_gimlet RE: MsJK Dec 29, 2009 10:24 PM

        I'm a Stephanie fan too. She has a new one out which is half gardening, half cookbook.

        David Thompson's book on Thai is regarded as the best english language thai cookery book in the world, but the recipes are appallingly hard work.

        The there's Bill Grainger, a sort of male Donna Hay.

        And a good seller this xmas according to my contacts was the Red Lantern vietnamese book, by Luke Nguyen

        1. re: mr_gimlet
          legume RE: mr_gimlet Dec 30, 2009 01:15 PM

          I admit to owning several of the above mentioned but often consult Womens Weekly series of magazine style cook books.

          1. re: legume
            mr_gimlet RE: legume Dec 30, 2009 04:05 PM

            I need to confess to having a pretty well-thumbed Presbyterian Womens Cookbook (Millenium edition...!)

            1. re: legume
              Samuelinthekitchen RE: legume Dec 16, 2012 10:19 PM

              Women's Weekly do amazingly good cookbooks, I love them. AGTs annual cookbook is a big fave too. Also a shout out to the Country Women's Association recipe compendium.

              Young guys can read CWA jam recipes, it's not weird....

          2. re: MsJK
            pearlyriver RE: MsJK Nov 21, 2012 12:47 AM

            What's her specialty? What are her must-try recipes? I have the Cook's Companion but most of her desserts are OK and no exceptional. Her meat, soup and salad recipes seem to be better.

            1. re: pearlyriver
              PhilD RE: pearlyriver Nov 23, 2012 01:37 AM

              Isn't the "speciality" the fact it's more like a basic reference book and thus good for basics. I don' think it was written as anything else

              1. re: PhilD
                pearlyriver RE: PhilD Nov 28, 2012 08:38 PM

                But I haven't found a crowd pleasing recipe in her cookbook, which I attribute to my poor skills. I've found more keeper worthy recipes from Julia Child and Jacques Pepin cookbooks, which are also written as the basic reference book. Would you mind sharing an excellent recipe from it?

                1. re: pearlyriver
                  PhilD RE: pearlyriver Nov 30, 2012 02:45 PM

                  As I say a reference book, it has recipes but is more useful for techniques or info on ingredients and the basics of how to cook them. For me the recipes are either good examples of a basic recipe or else a recipe that can be used to build from and modify. So no "crowd pleasers" as such - also quite different from Julia Child which is more of a homage to French food rather than a reference (and IMO Elizabeth David is better than Julia at that anyway).

                  1. re: PhilD
                    mr_gimlet RE: PhilD Dec 1, 2012 01:40 PM

                    It also has a big advantage of being ordered by ingredient, so if you come back from the market with whatever is in season, you can always get some great ideas. The mini recipes in the margins are especially good.

                    My go to recipe from the book is harira.

          3. b
            BeanTownGolfer RE: OldBay Nov 21, 2012 02:53 PM

            If you want to go with the big names, both Mark Best (Marque) and Ben Shewry (Origin) both came out with books on their restaurants this year. I haven't looked at Origin yet, but am hoping to pick up a signed copy when I eat at Attica in January. Marque has also gotten some good press.

            1. kersizm RE: OldBay Nov 25, 2012 12:22 PM

              It's Vietnamese recipes... but very Australian; The Secrets of the Red Lantern by Pailine Nguyen (Luke's sister) is a fantastic cookbook.

              1. k
                klyeoh RE: OldBay Dec 6, 2012 07:17 AM

                My very first Aussie cookbook was the one by Margarest Fulton - back in the mid-1970s. I still have it on my shelf.

                My current fave is Sydney Food by Bill Granger:

                1. f
                  Frizzle RE: OldBay Dec 11, 2012 12:56 AM

                  Maggie Beer is another cook with some great recipes. I have 'Maggies Kitchen'.
                  I also have the Cook's Companion' by Stephanie Alexander, I too use it mainly as a reference book and not so much for the recipes.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Frizzle
                    Samuelinthekitchen RE: Frizzle Dec 16, 2012 10:25 PM

                    Love cook's companion but can i take this moment to have the slightest gripe about Maggie?

                    Love Maggie's Kitchen, Love Cook and the Chef, and love her, hated Maggie's Harvest.

                    I don't know about others but i actually thought the recipes were really pretty lacklustre and in a couple of cases actually a bit patronising and a bit of an ad for her whole brand including the quince paste recipe that calls for 3-6 hours of continual stirring.

                    The ingredient list might as well have been 'my Quince Paste from a shop and while you're at the shop why not get some other fine products from the Maggie Beer range.'

                    1. re: Samuelinthekitchen
                      Frizzle RE: Samuelinthekitchen Dec 16, 2012 10:54 PM

                      I've had other people say they've found Maggie's Harvest disappointing too. Maggie's Kitchen is the only one I have.

                  2. j
                    jhamiltonwa RE: OldBay Dec 12, 2012 03:51 AM

                    Charmaine Solomon's "The Complete Asian Cookbook" is a must, alongside Stephanie Alexander's "The Cooks Companion"


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: jhamiltonwa
                      klyeoh RE: jhamiltonwa Dec 12, 2012 05:10 AM

                      Oh my, they still have *that* cookbook by Charmaine Solomon? I bought a copy in 1982 as a birthday present for my mum back in Perth. It was a hardcover with green jacket then.

                      1. re: klyeoh
                        jhamiltonwa RE: klyeoh Dec 17, 2012 03:13 AM

                        They sure do. Mine's an 87 edition, green jacket like your Mum's. I can only think the latest edition is even better.

                    2. cronker RE: OldBay May 17, 2013 09:45 PM

                      Manu Fieldels book about French cuisine is quite good.

                      1. h
                        heeler RE: OldBay May 19, 2013 08:04 AM

                        Christine Manfield is well renowned and I would second Mark Best's book Marque, as well as French by Damien Pignolet. French in particular is great for home cooking the others are excellent books but can be involved for a home cook

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