Books, Chefs

Why I love The Family Meal

We don’t see much innovation in cookbooks nowadays but The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria is as you’d expect from one of the world’s most innovative chefs. What most people don’t realise is that most book publishers don’t test their recipes properly. Yes, the chefs and celebrities that write them actually cook the dishes sometimes even in their home kitchens. But a recipe tester using crappy basic cookers and bog standard equipment aren’t used. It keeps the price […]

Books, Cooking, Video

Inside Modernist cuisine

Check out on Youtube how the cutaways were made. Finally, $484.60 9including postage) and after a three month wait Modernist Cuisine has arrived. I’ve bought it so you don’t have to but also to add to my collection of books by Peter Barham, Herve This and Harold McGee that examine the science of cooking, as I mentioned in May. Out of all of them McGee’s On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen (which you can buy […]

Books, Cooking

Modernist Cuisine and how to buy cookbooks

There are plenty of reasons to buy Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking. The trouble is that all Australian retailers rip us off so I would, when it becomes available, buy it online If you are unfamiliar with the book, it is the brainchild of former Microsoft chief technology officer Nathan Myhrvold who holed himself up in a 1670 sq m warehouse with assorted chefs, geeks, scientists, cheffy geeks and food journalists to create the definitive six volume […]

Books, Drinks, Food blogs, Paraphernalia

Stuff white people like: the very special food and beverage edition

Admit it, these apply to you too. The other week Christian Lander the author of the blog and now best selling bookStuff White People Like was in town. Basically Stuff White People Like is a bit like Top Trumps for White People. I’ll trump you some Murray River Salt and an Ortiz anchovy over your iodised salt and a pilchard. The same goes for my imported Arneis ($75) over yours from the King Valley ($20). Bearing in mind the readership […]


A chocolate biscuit or Mr Darcy: Which would you prefer?

“This was not to say that Laurence knew how to bake, though he grew swiftly defensive in response to my expression of surprise at his inability. Biscuits are nowadays a branch of psychology, not cooking, he advised sternly. Laurence had forumulated his biscuit by gathering some interviewees in a hotel in Slough and, over a week, questioning them about their lives, in an attempt to tease out of them certain emotional longings that could subsequently be elaborated into the organising […]

Books, Eat streets, Paraphernalia

Tell me your most useful and useless kitchen gadgets

Spot the crap stuff (and pic) in my status symbol kitchen.What kind of swamp do I inhabit? No, I don’t live in Elwood which is now merely stinking canals and is vulnerable to subsidence.I’m talking about the stinking, sticky slimy loathsome depths of depravity that my mind has sunk to meaning that I can’t even take a simple email on face value.My curt reply to his enquiries on the local food blogging scene no doubt left Michael Ruhlman, an opinionated […]


Service included – Four-Star secrets of an eavesdropping waiter

Inevitiable any inside story on the restaurant business in new York will draw comparisons.Phoebe Damrosch doesn’t serve up the hard drugs and bad sex that Anthony Bourdain dragged us though. But the food is much, much better in Service Included: Four-Star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter. It gives an insiders account of the opening of Per Se, a restaurant run by one of the world’s top chefs Thomas Keller of French laundry fame (who was rumoured to be opening at […]

Books, Cooking, Eat streets

Steel chicken and other recipes

I’m about to embark on the next of my molecular gastronomy experiments with Heston Blumenthal’s roast chicken which will take several days to prepare. But first a survey of other chefs’ approaching to roasting chicken. It is perhaps apprpriate to kick-off with this one which I found in The Futurist Cookbook, first published in 1932. I particularly like Elizabeth David’s opinion on the slim volume as a “publication of preposterous new dishes”. by futurist Aeropainer Diugheroff: “Roast a chicken emptied […]

Books, Cooking, Eat streets

The future of food and fascism

The future of cooking: In the kitchen at Interlude  A couple of weeks ago I spent the afternoon in the kitchen of Robin Wickens and his chefs at Interlude. He was developing a new lamb dish which involved spraying coffee in the air while eating it (you may recall later that night I sucked on the glass straw). This weekend my account of that afternoon and subsequent meal was published in The Australian. Local chef George Biron points me towards […]