Why I Love Books: By Guy Grossi, author of Love Italy

There is something about the smell of a book I love. That smell when you turn the fresh crisp pages and the feeling of the paper. It’s usually the first thing I do when I pick up a new book, run my hand along the pages. While I love technology, there is something special about holding and feeling a book. Seeing someone’s hard work bound together into the final product. Something you can’t get from reading the same print online.

I love the romance about it, getting caught up in a story or lost in the images printed on the pages. I like having books to use as references when I need. Both at home and at work I’m surrounded by all kinds of books. As an educational tool, I love reading and using them to better my knowledge, there is nothing more important than constantly learning. Also important is their ability to share a story or paint a picture and engage the reader.

I hoped to achieve all of these things in Love Italy. I wanted to create a publication that was educational, teaching about the traditions and history of Italian food. I also wanted to share the stories of some very special people who work every day to preserve the techniques that bring the Italian food culture to life.

The last thing I wanted to achieve with this book was somewhat a piece of art. The photos and words used have created a beautiful masterpiece that evokes all kinds of emotion as it takes you on a food journey through Italy.

Click here to order Love Italy from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

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Win Two Passes To The World Famous Agrarian Kitchen

9781921382451 Agrarian Kicthen newsletter banner (450 x 143)Rodney Dunn, the man behind the world famous Agrarian Kitchen, has put together one of the most beautiful cookbooks of 2013.

Order The Agrarian Kitchen from Booktopia before 30th November 2013 to go into the draw to win an Agrarian Experience class for 2 people, worth $700 (flights and accommodation not included).

The Agrarian Kitchen

by Rodney Dunn

When former Australian Gourmet Traveller food editor Rodney Dunn moved from Sydney to Tasmania, he and his wife Severine set about transforming a nineteenth-century schoolhouse into a sustainable farm-based cooking school.

Nestled in a misty valley outside Hobart, The Agrarian Kitchen struck a chord with people seeking respite from fast-paced lives and a meaningful connection with the food we eat and the land that produces it.

This collection of recipes from the phenomenally popular cooking school celebrates the simple pleasures of cooking and eating in tune with the seasons, and the rhythm of a life lived close to the earth.

Click here to buy The Agrarian Kitchen from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

The Agrarian Kitchen-1The Agrarian Kitchen-3The Agrarian Kitchen-2

The Agrarian Kitchen-5 The Agrarian Kitchen-4

Click here to buy The Agrarian Kitchen from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

The Incompetent Cook Road Tests… Eat In by Anna Gare

Every month Booktopia’s Andrew Cattanach reviews a cookbook.

He is an incompetent cook.

He is The Incompetent Cook.


9781742663890Eat In
by Anna Gare

The meals:

Tomato and Pesto Soup

Chermoula Chicken with Harissa & Minted Yoghurt

Lemon and Lime Pudding

Continue reading

Dinner with Serge – Booktopia and the Seasonal Kitchen Experience

In Australian cuisine, they don’t come much bigger than Serge Dansereau.

Dansereau started work in Sydney at The Regent in 1983, spending 18 years there while shooting their flagship restaurant to three-hat fame. Serge encouraged a greater knowledge of what we can produce in Australia and worked hard to get it from paddock to plate.

In 1998 Dansereau was approached to head up the kitchen in the iconic Bathers’ Pavilion on Balmoral Beach. A local himself, the offer proved too much to resist. The Bathers’ Pavilion is about the locals, the ocean and the food – bringing his customers the best of Australia from the outside in.

Recently some of us were lucky enough to dine with Serge and hear his story, and his passion for fresh Australian produce is exhilarating. We thought we’d share some of his book, and well as some of the dishes that came our way at his incredible restaurant.

Bon Appétit!

Seasonal Kitchen gives you 220 new recipes that celebrate Australian produce. In this eclectic collection of recipes, which draws its inspiration from the Mediterranean, as well as India and China, Serge continues to use his chef know-how to demonstrate how to turn modern-day classics from good dishes into great ones.

Barra

Capitalising on his reputation as the ‘father of the fresh food movement’, Serge moves us through the year, listing in-season produce and offering us recipes that will show them at their best.

Duck Breast

In Autumn, there is cauliflower,leek and cider soup, chicken piccata with lemon and parsley and lavender pannacotta with pistachio biscuits.

In Winter, eat Serge’s pork belly with ginger and shallots, with a raisin and treacle tart. Spring heralds artichokes with parmesan, thyme and anchovy sauce and a lamb loin with an olive crust and Summer, ocean trout marinated in spiced yoghurt with coriander, roast turkey, with macadamia nut and tarragon stuffing and a summer pudding with berry ice cream.

Lamb Fillets

This celebration of Australian seasons, produce and good food is beautifully designed and shot, with each part visually reflecting the relevant season.

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Click here to buy The Seasonal Kitchen from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

A Message From Jamie Oliver About His New Book And TV Show ‘Save With Jamie’

Jamie Oliver is back! His new show premiered last night on Channel 10, the same day his much anticipated new cookbook Save With Jamie hit the shelves. Here’s a message from Jamie to his Aussie fans…

Save With Jamie shows you how to shop smart, cook clever and waste less. With 120 tasty money saving meals Jamie’s knowledge and cooking skills will help you make better choices, showing you how to buy economically and efficiently, get the most out of your ingredients, save time and prevent food waste.

Here’s another message from Jamie, talking about the role beef (mmmm, beef…) plays in his new book.

Click here to buy Save With Jamie from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

Save with Jamie

Shop Smart, Cook Clever, Waste Less

 Jamie gets the nation cooking clever, shopping smart and wasting less with his new cookbook, Save with Jamie.

This year, I’ve got the message loud and clear that as everyone comes under bigger and bigger financial pressure, they want help to cook tasty, nutritious food on a budget – so this book was born completely out of public demand. Save with Jamie draws on knowledge and cooking skills to help you make better choices, showing you how to buy economically and efficiently, get the most out of your ingredients, save time and prevent food waste.

And there’s no compromise – I’m talking big flavours, comfort food that makes you happy, and colourful, optimistic dishes. Our biggest luxury is knowledge, whether times are hard or not, so get kitchen smart and smash the recession.

About the Author

Jamie Oliver started cooking at his parent’s pub, The Cricketers, in Clavering, Essex, at the age of eight and has since worked with some of the world’s top chefs. He is now running Fifteen – one of the best restaurants in London and the subject of the television series Jamie’s Kitchen.

Jamie has written for The Times, as well as for GQ and Marie Claire magazines. He currently writes for Delicious magazine in the UK and Australia.

He also started, and continues to be involved with the Fifteen Foundation, which provides training and mentoring for disadvantaged young people – allowing them to follow their dreams and become chefs.

Jamie lives in London with his wife, Jools, and their four children.

Click here to buy Save With Jamie from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

The Incompetent Cook Road Tests… Bill’s Italian Food by Bill Granger

Every couple of weeks Booktopia’s Andrew Cattanach reviews a cookbook. He is an Incompetent cook. He is The Incompetent Cook.


Bill’s Italian Food
by Bill Granger

The meals:

Mozzarella, Roasted Capsicum and Caper Pizza

Artichoke and Ham Lasagne

Pistachio and Orange Loaf Cake

Continue reading

The Incompetent Cook Road Tests… What’s For Dinner by Curtis Stone

Welcome to The Incompetent Cook, a cooking blog with a difference.

Booktopia’s Andrew Cattanach will road test a new cookbook each week, picking a starter, a main, and a dessert to cook.

He’ll report back on how the dishes fared in his cripplingly unskilled hands.

This week’s challenge for The Incompetent Cook….


What’s For Dinner
by Curtis Stone

The meals:

Asian Beef and Vegetable Lettuce Cups

Chicken and Chorizo Paella

New York Cheesecake

Continue reading

The Incompetent Cook Road Tests… The Complete Slow Cooker by Sally Wise

Welcome to The Incompetent Cook, a cooking blog with a difference.

Booktopia’s Andrew Cattanach will road test a new cookbook each week, picking a starter, a main, and a desert to cook.

He’ll report back on how the dishes fared in his severely unskilled hands.

This week’s challenge for The Incompetent Cook….

The Complete Slow Cooker
by Sally Wise

The meals:

Country Chicken Soup

Barbecue Ribs

Self-Saucing Sticky Date Pudding

- Continue reading

Sarah Wilson, author of I Quit Sugar: The Complete Plan and Recipe Book, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Sarah Wilson

author of I Quit Sugar: The Complete Plan and Recipe Book

Ten Terrifying Questions

———————-

1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I actually grew up in the country on a subsistence-living farm outside Canberra. We had goats for milk and meat and everything was recycled. In fact, we didn’t have garbage!

I commuted into Canberra for school – Lyneham High and Dickson College. A lot of my food philosophy stems from my upbringing…and the recipes  in I Quit Sugar are about conserving and not wasting and being simple and economical…perfect for families and young people!!

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

I love this…my interests did shift. As a kid I wanted to be the first female Prime Minister of Australia. I was the eldest of six kids…being influential was in my blood.

At 18 I was dreadfully confused. And so I tried all kinds of things for a good decade.

At 30, I wanted to be doing something meaningful, communicating and working freely….which is pretty much my life now.

“As a kid I wanted to be the first female Prime Minister of Australia.”

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

Ha… that I was right.

4. What were three big events – in the family circle or on the world stage or in your reading life, for example – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced you in your career path?

My Year 5 teacher gave me the class prize and said, in front of the school at the end of year “graduation”, that my curiosity was a gift. I treasure her words. They spurred me on.

Moving to Sydney when I was 29, from Melbourne. Suddenly everything sped up and made sense. I felt that I belonged.

Reading Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela. Such mindful endurance of hardship…it very much guided me through my own troubles with illness.

5. Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book? aren’t they obsolete?

I know what you mean…the book started out as two ebooks which did very well…more than what a ebook usually does in this market. But there is still a market who want a hard copy, and so it made sense to produce it as such. I very much did things back to front, but perhaps that’s the future.

Long Walk To Freedom – “Such mindful endurance of hardship.”

It’s an 8-week program for quitting sugar, plus a bunch (108) recipes for sugar-free snacks, breakfasts, cakes, kids’ treats and detox meals (for getting clean!).

It’s based on my experience quitting sugar, two years of research into the best techniques, and my work as a qualified health coach. It’s not a diet…it’s a way of living that basically cuts out all processed food.

You can drink wine, eat bacon and cheese, you don’t count calories. More than 70,000 people have done the program I developed and everyone (to my knowledge) loses weight. Some lose 20, 30 and even 55 kilos, just from quitting sugar.

7. If your work could change one thing in this world – what would it be?

To get everyone back to natural appetite and hunger. This would solve obesity and most modern diseases, as well as reduce the environmental impact of processed food.

8. Whom do you most admire and why?

Today it’s Bill Cunningham, the American photographer. I just watched the documentary about his life. I love how he does what he does because he wants to connect with humanity. I refuses payment for his work most  of the time because he feels it interferes what he’s there to do. He’s free, as a result. I admire people who make sacrifices to be truly free and helpful to humanity.

9. Many people set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

To  be as authentic as I can.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

To have a blog (to practice writing freely and to advertise your wares)

To move across all different mediums…radio, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, print. Gone are the days when you could do just the one. You have to spin plates now.

Study good writing.

Just write. Sit down and do the work.

Sarah, thank you for playing.

Click here to order I Quit Sugar from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

Andy Allen, author of The Next Element and winner of MasterChef Australia 2012, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Andy Allen

author of The Next Element and winner of MasterChef Australia 2012…

Ten Terrifying Questions

————————

1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born and raised in a town called Maitland, which is 25 minutes N/W of Newcastle and I completed my HSC at Maitland Grossmann High School.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

Growing up I always wanted to be a professional basketball player. I put all my energy into this until I finally realised this wasn’t going to happen at the age of about 18. At this time I was at a crossroads in my career and at the age 20 I decided to take an offer of an apprenticeship as an Electrician. By the age of 23 I knew this wasn’t for me and decided to fill out an application to be on MasterChef.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

At 18, I didn’t really believe that dreams could come true. I had to come to terms that I wasn’t going to play basketball professionally and started to think I would have to settle with a job that was just a place to go to work for the rest of my life. But now at the age of 24 I now realise if you want something bad enough and you are passionate enough about it, nothing can hold you back.

4. What were three big events – in the family circle or on the world stage or in your reading life, for example – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced you in your career path?

My families love for food.

Quitting university to work in a bar. It sounds insane but this is where I had most of my free time to learn about cooking.

Entering MasterChef.

5. Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book? aren’t they obsolete?

I’m not going to lie, the reason I wrote a book was that it was prize given to me for winning a competition. At first I thought I was not worthy of becoming an author nor being experienced enough to write a book but then I looked back at the last 8 months of my life and realised how hard I had worked to win MasterChef and I deserved it as much as any of the other contestants.

6. Please tell us about your book…

My latest and first book “The Next Element” is a cookbook which displays my progression throughout my MasterChef ‘journey’. The first chapter, Cooking for myFamily, is full of basic, weeknight meals which any novice cook should be able to complete. The second section Cooking for my Friends, are all the recipes I cook when my mates come over for an afternoon BBQ, more your tapas style dishes. These recipes are also very achievable for any home cook. A New Direction is the last section where you will find a few of my successful dishes I cooked on MasterChef and also a few more advanced recipes which I love to cook now. Hopefully there is something in there for everyone!

Click here to buy The Next Element from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

7. If your work could change one thing in this world – what would it be?

Everyone finding the job that they want to do for the rest of their life.

8. Whom do you most admire and why?

My family. My Mum, Dad and two sisters, as they have stuck by me in everything I have tried.

9. Many people set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

If there is one thing I have learnt from my time on MasterChef it is not to look to much into the future. Yes its great to have ambitions and goals, but its more important to focus on the task at hand. In saying that my long term goal is to set myself high standards in everything I put my hand to and know that if you work hard enough, anything is possible.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Write a book you want to write and enjoy writing it. Come up with a concept in which you know you will be proud of when it comes back from print and go from there.

Andy, thank you for playing.

Click here to buy The Next Element from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

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