It’s no secret that Melbourne has a never-ending supply of great cafes, restaurants and shops, but authors and seasoned Melburnians Gaye Weeden and Hayley Smorgon reckon “the thrill of finding an undiscovered treasure is always exhilarating.”
Part Melbourne city guide and part cookbook, The Butcher, The Baker, The Best Coffee Maker is a new publication that delightfully captures the heart and soul of Melbourne’s food culture.
From spending a day surrounded by the exotic fresh produce at the Little Saigon Market in Footscray to feasting on the iconic sweets of St Kilda’s ‘cake strip’ on Acland Street, both Weeden and Smorgon have certainly done their legwork (and fair share of taste-testing) in searching out the deliciousness Melbourne has to offer. Good thing they are willing to share their great finds, because the book is brimming with recipes of signature dishes from some of Melbourne’s food institutions, including Koko Black’s chocolate mousse, Movida’s salt cod tortilla, Pellegrini’s gnocchi, and other sought-after dishes.
Throughout the book are interviews with expert coffee makers, bakers and well-known personalities, including the likes of gallery owner Anna Schwartz and restaurateur Con Christopoulos, who provide some expert recommendations on where to take the kids and in-laws or where to get the best in-season vegetables.
The evocative photographs by Mark Roper and Peter Tarasiuk bring to life short and sweet descriptions written in mouth-watering detail. Gaye Weeden’s day job as a food and interiors stylist combined with Hayley Smorgon’s background in visual art likely contribute to the insider knowledge and colourful personalities littered throughout.