Recipes for a Lifetime of Beautiful Cooking$49.99 It’s been more than a year since Danielle Alvarez left the kitchen at Sydney restaurant Fred’s. Thankfully she’s just landed in ours – with a new cookbook made in collaboration with food writer Libby Travers. The treasured chef draws on her Cuban roots and love of Italian and Asian cuisines to create this gorgeous ode to the abode. From vibrant summery salads to soulful soups and noodle dishes, it’ll put you on the fast track to finding happiness in your own kitchen.
Nat’s What I Reckon: Smash Hit Recipes$49.99 No one really knows Nat’s last name, but the Sydney comedian proves you don’t even need one to cop more than 450k Youtube subscribers. His no-bull cooking vids are a viral sensation, and his second cookbook, Smash Hit Recipes, has 45 sterling feeds (“Sacrificial Lamb Rack”, “End of Days Bolognese”) you can rock out to, any night of the week. An illustrated man calls for an illustrated book, and this one is beautifully done by Sydney artists Bunkwaa, Glenno, Warrick McMiles and Onnie O’Leary.
Undiscovered Victoria$45 Online guide One Hour Out, which showcases the best of regional Victoria, is putting its many years of exploration onto paper with Undiscovered Victoria. Full of stunning photos and creative itineraries, it’ll have you planning your next road trip right away – whether you’re interested in art, food, nature, walks or history. Uncovering secret destinations and sharing chats with locals, the book is dedicated to community spirit, diverse lifestyles and landscapes, and creativity across the state.
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The Dinner Party$60 Fine-dining chef Martin Benn is best known for brain-bending finale challenges on Masterchef and his tenure at top Sydney restaurant Sepia, but his secret passion is throwing fabulous dinner parties with wife and collaborator Vicki Wild. This glossy cookbook presents complete menus for nine themed celebrations, with more than 70 recipes (try Better Than Hasselback potatoes), playlists, wine matches and entertaining ideas. Plan a range of meals including a backyard soiree, spreads from Italy and Japan, or a vegetarian-inspired feast.
The Fraud$34.99 Zadie Smith burst onto the literary scene in 2000 with *White Teeth*, and fans have been waiting for a new novel from the influential British writer since 2016’s Swing Time. Based on actual historical events, this epic tale is set in 1873, when the whole of England was mesmerised by the “Tichborne Trial” – including Scottish housekeeper Mrs Eliza Touchet. The arrival of Andrew Bogle, a former slave from Jamaica who is the key witness in the trial, drives an exuberant narrative that deftly examines class and race.
The New French Look$49.99 Sometimes the French just do it better. When it comes to interiors, their national aesthetic is timeless, effortless and oh so chic. In this first book from the new Style Study series, Melbourne interior designer Lauren Li provides insight on the style’s enduring allure, exploring the work of leading French architects and designers to uncover their guiding principles, plus tips on how to achieve the look. From coastal homes to city dwellings, there’s inspiration on every page.
Fish Butchery$49 With several Sydney restaurants under his belt – plus a James Beard Award (aka the Oscars of food) for his debut book The Whole Fish Cookbook – chef Josh Niland is truly paving the way with his “fin-to-scale” mission: dedicated to cooking as much of the fish as possible. This new cookbook is presented in three separate sections (Catch, Cut and Craft) and is ideal for lovers of seafood – whether you’re new to cooking or an experienced chef.
Earth and Fire$69.99 To bring any ceramic object to life, you need two things: clay and the kiln – in other words, earth and fire. Exploring these two fundamental components, Kylie and Tiffany Johnson dive deep into the techniques, practices and tools of more than 45 Australian ceramicists. Divided into two sections, the book first looks at clay variations and form-building (Earth), and then examines heat conditions (Fire). From messy studio works to finished pieces, there’s inspiration for makers, artists and design enthusiasts of all persuasions.
Gohan: Everyday Japanese Cooking$49.99 From Japanese-Australian food writer Emiko Davies comes a cookbook dedicated to the mothers and grandmothers of Japan. Gohan translates literally as “rice”, but it’s a phrase casually used to refer to a meal or food in general. Better known for her Italian cooking titles, here Davies explores simple, nourishing comfort food that she’s enjoyed at home with family over the years – complete with charming colour pencil illustrations. As well as rice, the book explores noodle dishes, breakfasts and sweets.
Ornament Is Not a Crime$69.99 Sydney design writer Rebecca L Gross is inspired by pioneering postmodern designers of the 1960’s, ’70s and ’80s in Ornament Is Not a Crime. It’s part history of the movement, part audit of playful contemporary homes from around the world that draw on PoMo’s ethos for big fun and big functionality. This is a book that celebrates the zigs, zags, colour pops and scalloped edges of postmodern design, and there are plenty of ideas for the next vibrant overhaul of your home.
Ester$55 Mat Lindsay is renowned for deftly transforming the spoils of Australian produce into punch-packing plates via the glow of his woodfire oven. Every morsel at his casual Sydney fine diner – the namesake of this release – is licked by the heat: scorched heads of cauliflower, just-grilled pippies, flame-touched steaks, sticky-date doughnuts. Recipes allow the flavours to ripen with the char, and are designed to be pulled off in your home oven. A toast-dedicated chapter joins meat, seafood, breakfast and Sunday long lunches.
Eventually Everything Connects$34.99 When we think of essay collections we often picture long words and complex metaphors. But Sarah Firth, a Melbourne-based cartoonist and writer, makes readers picture so much more with her visual essay collection. Firth’s debut graphic non-fiction book collates written work and illustration she’s put together over eight years. It approaches the big topics, like philosophy and science, but includes relatable humour, pop culture references, and those wacky questions you dare not ask out loud. Witty, contemplative and fun.
The New Modernist House$79.99 We all love a peek inside other people’s houses. As founder of the online mid-century design archive Modernist Australia, Patricia Callan is more practised (and professional) at this than most. Her new book is a visual journey through abodes that ooze timeless style, exploring modernist house design that’s been adapted for present-day living – inside and out. Get a glimpse into 21 Australian homes, including some designed by the period’s heavyweights: Anatol Kagan, Alistair Knox and Ernest Fooks.
Courting: An Intimate History of Love and the Law$45 Most are familiar with the charm and emotion of romance novels, but in Courting, Sydney law lecturer Alecia Simmonds reveals a different kind of heartache. Uncovering Australian love stories from the 19th and 20th centuries documented in courtroom archives, Simmonds takes us back to a time when jilted men and women could sue for “breach of promise to marry” and claim compensation for their sufferings. Learn the details of where couples met, how they dated and what this means for the ethics of love today.
Meatsmith: Home Cooking for Friends and Family$60 Andrew McConnell, of Gimlet and Supernormal fame, and Troy Wheeler – formerly head butcher at the esteemed Peter Bouchier – own four marble-swathed meat emporiums around Melbourne. In this elegant new cookbook, named for the luxe Meatsmith chain, the chef and the butcher share tips and wisdom for mastering the art of cooking with meat, alongside 80 definitive recipes to inspire weeknight meals and fabulous dinner parties. Meat is sometimes the star, sometimes the support act, and well-matched sides also make valuable cameos.
Reporting by Dan Cunningham, Gitika Garg, Ruby Harris, Michael Harry, Grace MacKenzie and Shannon Valentine.
This article first appeared in Domain Review, in partnership with Broadsheet.
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