books by cooks

Two lovely books by members have recently been published – hunt out Judith Cullen’s Dunedin Fonebook and Margaret Brooker’s At The Beach – while Bloody Good Baking includes recipes by other members and raises funds for an excellent cause.

Dunedin Fonebook
Dunedin’s Judith Cullen has shared delicious secrets with numerous locals through her popular cooking classes, and also leads food-oriented tours through Turkey, Italy and elsewhere in Europe. “In my travels I had often picked up beautiful little books with amazing imagery and snippets about towns, and thought, ‘wouldn’t it be lovely if we did something like this for Dunedin?'”.

Judith and Michelle Chalklin Sinclair (owner of The Artists Room gallery and a keen photographer) had known each other for many years, and one day Judith happened to mention her interest in writing a book. “It was one of those meant-to-be conversations: I discovered she also had a passion to create a book. We put our talents together to see what we could come up with and here we are – self-publishing, marketing and selling!”

Dunedin Fonebook is a lovely coffee table book celebrating “everything delicious and colourful about our small southern coastal city”. It combines Michelle’s compelling images of Dunedin landscapes and places (all taken on a phone, hence the book’s title), along with a showcase of some of the region’s best artists, plus several of Judith’s recipes using local produce sourced from the Dunedin Farmers’ Market. “It’s been a real labour of love and we’re delighted that people have shown so much excitement and enthusiasm for it.”

Bound to touch the heart and stir the memory of anyone who’s ever spent time in Dunedin, the book shares some of the city’s best-kept secrets. “We hope that Dunedinites all over New Zealand and the world will love having it close to their hearts.” For more information, search for “Dunedin Fonebook” on Facebook.

At The Beach
A long-held dream of owning a costal property came true for Wellington’s Margaret Brooker when she and her family purchased a holiday house at Flat Point, on the Wairarapa coastline. At The Beach (New Holland) is a cookbook memoir that muses upon the pleasures of quiet costal life – days spent reading, playing board games, walking along the beach, swimming and boating – along with relaxed, easy meals.

“In summer, life revolves around the tides. The crayfish pots need to be cleared and rebaited at low tide. And paua is most easily gathered at low tide. At high tide the surf and swimming are better. Meal times get shunted, becoming later and later. But it doesn’t matter. We are on holiday. It’s Flat Point time,” says Margaret.

One of the joys of holiday life for Margaret is the opportunity to potter about in the kitchen. She intersperses her story with more than 75 recipes for both summer and winter, ranging from fast and flavoursome to slow-cooked and aromatic, from nibbles to desserts. She makes the most of crayfish and other locally caught seafood, and bakes her own bread.

The book’s photographs, taken by Margaret and her daughter Charlotte, evoke the changing beauty of the coastal landscape and vignettes of beach house life.

Bloody Good Baking
This is the book from the team behind Good Bitches Baking – a group of community spirited folk throughout the country who bake for those who need a little sweetness in their lives, from women’s refuges to Ronald McDonald House and many more deserving organisations. Contributions from numerous Good Bitches, including a number of Food Writers members, feature in this lovely tome, with all proceeds going towards growing the Good Bitches Baking Trust.