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  June 2014  


mis-en-place; the art of preparing to cook...

In This Issue
Event: Home Baking
The Third Plate
Sri Lanka Kitchen
Pass it Down
The Roast Collection
Two Little Pigs
Pies & Tarts
Preserving DVDs
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This month, a look at Home Baking with one of Melbourne's Icons - Phillippa's; a polemical read that will reignite food debates, some lovely self-published books worthy of your shelves and a look at a few events around town

Book Launch: Home Baking: A Conversation with Phillippa Grogan - 17 June
Tasty Express by Sney Roy
Phillippa's Home Baking
Phillippa's Home Baking $49.95

When: 7pm Tues 17 June 2014

Where: Books for Cooks at Birdman Eating 238 Gertrude St

Price: $60 (includes a signed copy of Home Baking, a Books for Cooks Voucher, tastes from the book & matched wine)

Tickets available from Eventbrite

Melbourne's Queen of Baking is without a doubt, Phillippa Grogan, the founder of Phillippa's Bakery & Provision Store

Together with Richard Cornish, Phillippa has written a beautiful baking book full of practical advice, delicious treats (sweet & savory), recipes for allergy sufferers and great range of good family food.
Phillippa Grogan
Phillippa Grogan
Many of Phillippa's signature dishes are included.

This is the perfect book for a novice or timid baker with detailed and careful instructions; but advanced bakers will find the recipes innovative & interesting.

Detailed introductions, lots of practical hints & tips, variations and photos accompany each of the 140+ recipes.

Not just sweet things, recipes for bread, tarts and even dishes that have been on the menu at the Store are included.  In addition to Phillippa's penchant for detail, all the recipes have been tested by home bakers as well.

On Tuesday 17th we'll be chatting to Phillippa about all things baking - hopefully she'll give us a few tips.  There will be plenty of time for questions, tastes from the book and a good chat about all things sugar & spice over a glass of bubbles or two  

Every Ticket includes a signed copy of Phillippa's Home Baking ($49.95)

Prebooked tickets via  Eventbrite are essential as space is limited and to ensure sufficient catering.

 If you can't join us but would like a signed copy of Phillippa's Home Baking...




The Third Plate
by Dan Barber
The Third Plate
The Third Plate by Dan Barber $49.95

Before we went to New York a few years ago for a cookbook conference, we badgered anyone who would listen about where we should eat in New York.

We received many and varied suggestions, but one recurring name was Dan Barber and Blue Hill at Stone Barns.

Sadly we couldn't fit in a meal, but the top of our list for next time is a trip up the Hudson to the Stone Barns Center.

So, why were we excited?  Well....

Dan Barber is the Chef of Blue Hill, a restaurant in Manhattan's West Village, and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, located within the nonprofit farm and education center, Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture.

His opinions on food and agricultural policy have appeared in the New York Times, along with many other publications. Barber has received multiple James Beard awards including Best Chef: New York City (2006) and the country's Outstanding Chef (2009). In 2009 he was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world.

The Third Plate is Barber's first book; and unlike his peers, Barber has written a manifesto that has,a as a book, much more in common with say Michael Pollan than Thomas Keller.  There are no pictures or recipes and philosphy and common sense, history and analysis abound.

In The Third Plate, Barber introduces us to a new kind of cuisine that represents the future of dining.  He explores the evolution of food from the "first plate," or industrially-produced, meat-heavy dishes, to the "second plate" of grass-fed meat and organic greens, and says that both of these approaches are ultimately neither sustainable nor healthy.

Instead, Barber proposes that we should move to the "third plate," a cuisine rooted in seasonal productivity, natural livestock rhythms, whole-grains, and small portions of free-range meat. Barber's book charts a bright path for eaters and chefs alike towards a healthy and sustainable future.

This is a deeply thoughtful and interesting look at the future of cuisine and dining from someone who practices what he preaches.  People interested in Slow Food, Michael Pollan, The River Cottage ideal etc will find this a richly rewarding and thought proving read.  But it is not just for the converted...

"Dan Barber's new book, The Third Plate, is an eloquent and thoughtful look at the current state of our nation's food system and how it must evolve. Barber's wide range of experiences, both in and out of the kitchen, provide him with a rare perspective on this pressing issue. A must read."

- Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States

"In this compelling read Dan Barber asks questions that nobody else has raised about what it means to be a chef, the nature of taste, and what 'sustainable' really means. He challenges everything you think you know about food; it will change the way you eat. If I could give every cook just one book, this would be the one."

- Ruth Reichl, author of Garlic & Sapphires and Tender at the Bone 

Saragini's Sri Lanka Food
by Saragini Kamalanathan & Ors

Sri Lanka Food
Sarogini's Sri Lanka Food $45

Every month it seems there are new amazing self published cookbooks.

This time from a Sri Lankan cooking school in Perth, we have this gorgeous recipe book with family recipes, beautiful photography and great food.

 At the recent Gourmand Cookbook awards in Beijing, Saragini won Best in the World Indian/Sri Lankan Cookbook for her book Saragini's Sri Lanka Food.

With more than 100 easy-to-prepare recipes including delicious curries, rice dishes, vegetarian delights, sweets and more-ish finger food this is a great colorful introduction to the foods of Sri Lanka. Part travelogue/coffee table book, all the photography was done on site in Sri Lanka.

Whether you are planning a trip to Sri Lanka, wanting to reminesce about your last meal there or just explore a beautiful exotic cuisine - from piquant chicken pepper fry to spicy crab curry and unique Sri Lankan dishes such as hoppers, to a sensational array of vegetarian dishes (pineapple curry anyone?) - this is a great way to start. buy Sri Lanka Food... 



Pass it Down & Keep Baking
by Beth Ellen Wilkinson

Pass it Down by Beth Ellen Wilkinson
Pass it Down by Beth Ellen Wilkinson $35

Ever been to a country town or show and loved the local baking - $4 a plate; every crumb a buttery morsel and wanted to cook like that at home?  Well now you can!

Pass It Down and Keep Baking is the Hutchins' family cookbook. Beth Ellen and Laura Jean's nanna, Nellie Stanger (Hutchins), was one of fourteen children. from the small country town of Nathalia, Victoria, and the family were famous for their baking.

The two sisters, Beth and Laura, wanted to make sure that these treasured recipes were not lost but passed on to future generations. And so they created their own family cookbook.

They collated and baked the recipes, collected the cook's tips and secrets, styled the sweets on their family's crockery, took the photos and laid out the publication before self-publishing it.

There are over 40 recipes of biscuits, slices, cakes and desserts. Some favourites include Auntie Bett's Bakewell Tarts, Auntie Nellie's Ginger Fluff and Auntie Bev's French Creme.

In addition to preserving these 'Golden Age' country baking recipes, a portion of the proceeds goes to the Nathalia Op Shop for local community programs.


The Roast Collection
from Melbourne Food & Wine Festival

Put Victoria on your Table
Put Victoria on Your Table - The Roast Collection

The Roast Collection is a month long celebration of the humble roast & Victoria's beautiful winter produce.

A number of our chef customers are participating offering great roast dinners! 

Check it out - there is sure to be something in your neighbourhood!  There are lots of events listed on the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival Event Roast Collection page

And if you want to join in by celebrating at home visit a farmer's market for some great paddock to plate ingredients - and check out our roasting books here
Two Little Pigs: charcuterie & grind
146 Sydney Road Brunswick
Two Little Pigs
Two Little Pigs

Two of our favourite things - coffee & charcuterie are now on tap just around the corner in Brunswick.

Guaranteed to polarise the Brunswick locals (vegan/vegetarian anyone?) this is a smart cafe with good coffee and a tight but alluring all day menu - so long as you like your cured pork!

Channeling a Brooklyn/Fitzroy sort of feel Two Little Pigs is a welcome addition to the neighbourhood.  We've had several meals here; and polished the plates each time.

Some of the charcuterie, mostly French in spirit, is made in house and the rest is carefully selected from local providores.

If you like Proud Mary, Pope Joan, Three Bags Full etc - then Two Little Pigs should be on the list for a Brunswick stopover before you head up Sydney Road for some staples at either A1 Bakery or Mediterranean Wholesalers.


Pies & Tarts
by Stephane Reynaud

Stephane Reynaud's Pies & Tarts
Stephane Reynaud's Pies & Tarts $49.95

If you've read the odd newsletter you would know we are big fans of Stephane Reynaud.: remember Terrines, Pork & Sons, Ripailles, The Book of Tripe....

 This latest book from Stephane (yes - two in two months) is an addictive read: raised pies, free form pies, provincial country tarts, sweet pies - there is something for everyone

Signature trademarks of easy recipes, provinicial French flavours both traditional and contemporary and mouthwatering photography abound. 

We're already working on a Comtoise Pie, a Rainbow Trout & Horseradish Pie, some Chicken-Rabbit Pies with Spinach...and the kids have their own list too
Whilst the English may claim the pie, Stephane makes a dammn good case for the French versions... buy...
Victoria's Cake Decorating Expo
Cakerriffic Expo
Cakerriffic Expo Caulfield Racecourse 18-20 July
Next month we'll have a pop-up bookstore at Cakeriffic: Victoria's premier cake decorating expo.  We'll have lots of Cake Decorating books for amateurs and professionals alike.

If you are at all interested in cake decorating - simple to fancy, make a day of it and drop out to Caulfied Racecourse

 Some new DVDs

The Art of Preserving DVD
The Art of Preserving DVD with Peter Ford $39.95

Did you know we also stock a range of food related DVDs?  In addition to the ubiquitous Jamie Oliver, Food Safari and Rick Stein, we now stock a collection of DVDs for food lovers ranging from movies to how to guides, biographies to comedy and the occasional cooking show or two.

Most recently we just took on a range of extremely well made practical "how to" DVDS produced in Ballarat.

The first - The Art of Preserving is a great introduction to preserving techniques including dehydrating, gravalax, cheeses, butter, relishes, chutneys, fruit pates, pickling, jams & jellies and even Jerky.

Professionally produced, this is a great way to 'see' what you should be doing as taught by Peter Ford

The Whole Hog
The Whole Hog DVD $49.95

Another in the series is The Whole Hog: nose to tail butchery.

Using a whole local hog, Chef Peter Ford instructs you in the craft of nose-to-tail butchery.


Within this hands on instructional program, Peter demonstrates the process of slaughtering, skinning, eviscerating, preparing and butchering your hog for consumption.  


You will learn how to break down the hog into a wide variety of fresh meat cuts and prepare for bacon, sausages, leg ham, roasts, terrines, prosciutto and pancetta.
 buy The Whole Hog... 

Recipe: Kale Chips

With 'peak Kale' approaching and three types of Kale available in our local green grocer we thought it time to check out what all the fuss is about.

We've always cooked Cavallero Nero (Tuscan Kale) traditionally - in soups, on crostini etc but some of the more recent ideas haven't made it into our repertoire until now.

With lots of curly kale left over from a soup on the weekend - we went rummaging for Kale Chip recipes - just to see what all the fuss is about -of course!  The net result - really easy and delicious crispy vegetable morsels

To make Kale Chips:
  • preheat the oven to 180-200 celsius
  • remove the stems from the washed leaves, shred the leaves into pieces approximately 3-4cm square or so & place in a bowl 
  • add olive oil, salt & pepper to taste (and any other seasoning or spice you might like) - like a salad dressing - not too much oil; mix making sure the leaves are coated and spread on a baking tray
  • bake for 10-12 minutes

They're not chips, but they are crisp and they are very moreish - you can even claim they're good for you (sort of).  Our kids hoovered them up.  Also good as a garnish on soups, salads etc - if they last that long.

Which brings us to a close for this Newsletter. 
Happy Cooking, Reading & Eating!


Tim & Amanda

Books for Cooks