Kathy Snowball favourite Cookbooks Books on the Menu
We are so lucky to have gourmet food doyenne Kathy Snowball in our midst. She contributes regularly to publications including the Taste O feature in the local paper. And thanks for mentioning the Library last week. Out of all our visiting home chefs we have had the most requests for the books mentioned by Kathy as she spoke of her career change from merchant banking to packing up and heading off to culinary school in England to follow her dreams of working in the food industry.
Here is the list of books that have inspired Kathy and note the Harold McGee book which she said helped explain your cooking disasters:
A Book of Mediterranean Food, Elizabeth David (plus any other books by Elizabeth David);
On Food and Cooking, Harold McGee (the technical one);
Roast Chicken and Other Stories, Simon Hopkinson;
A New Book of Middle Eastern Food, Claudia Roden; and
Where the Heart Is, Karen Martini.
Kathy said the best cookbooks were the ones covered in cooking splatters and well thumbed and used and much loved (see Geoff your book was a real gem). Spare the library cookbooks though. It is a radical change of view from the fabulously presented glossy colour photographs of today's celebrity chef cookbooks (pictured). Kathy shared with us a story of cooking for Elizabeth David and having her personal copy signed by Elizabeth (pictured). Kathy also praised current popular chef Karen Martini who she said is doing wonderful things with food. Thank you Kathy. Bon Appetit!
Gordon Muir gets into the Groove at Books on the Menu
First there was Madonna and Glee and now there's Gordon showing us how to get into the groove with mushrooms! Former chef Gordon Muir spoke in his thick Scottish brogue at Books on the Menu about his career in London and having to prepare pots of vegetables to be all exactly the same size or be threatened with starting again. He said he'd actually given a whole lot of his cookbooks away but could not be without the French Escoffier cookbook which is a tiny thin book but holds thousands of recipes some only one line. For example it lists pages of variations for chicken just vary the sauce. He also praised Stephanie Alexander's tome The Cook's Companion. Gordon deftly demonstrated how to groove a mushroom it makes them look quite posh and Gordon did it so easily. He also talked of spending thousands of dollars buying fish per week when he worked at a resort, said he had tried to get rid of swearing in the kitchen but this was all undone when Gordon Ramsay came along and entertained the audience with a self penned poem about a chef's life.
Fantastic Gordon….can you do that mushroom groove thing again?
Norwegian Garland Cake Real Homemade Treat by Hanne
Guests at Books on the Menu not only heard about a Norwegian Garland cake there were able to sample it courtesy of local home cook chef Hanne Hoelass (pictured). She spoke of elegant dinner parties while growing up in Norway which her mother would spend days preparing for, decorating the table and the dining room with seating for up to 26 guests. She showed off a much loved cookbook by Norway's first culinary star Henriette Schonberg Erken and published in 1921 (pictured). Hanne spoke of the challenges for cooking for a vegan son and found she could adapt recipes and skip any vegetarian meat substitutes. Among her favourites now are Donna Hay's cookbooks. The Garland Cake looked fabulous and Hanne explained it was plainly decorated they are usually much more elaborate. It was served by cracking off the base rings at the bottom of the cake and breaking into pieces and serving. So you finish the cake at the top! Kind of fun really. Thank you Hanne.
Masterchef or Books on the Menu
Could that be a blatant attempt to latch onto a top rating television show? Absolutely. But we have our own masterchefs in Orange and four of them featured at our Books on the Menu event during F.O.O.D. Week. And we are still getting thank yous the latest from ….Janene of Byron Bay who enjoyed her time in Orange (thanks for the lovely card too). Here is what local pastry chef Geoff White (of Whitey's Pies on Sale fame) had to say about his favourite cookbook. His entertaining talk started off about promising the kids they would go to Disneyland once he sold the Mountain Teahouse – they ended up in Tennessee following Geoff's love of God, Country Music and Fried Chicken so of course he picked up Hillbilly Cookin with a choice recipe on how to cook a possum on a shovel (do not try that!). And he also showed the audience his tried and true recipe book from Ireland's Bakery that used by located at the fiveways. He still refers to it today. Geoff also talked about growing up near Mt Canobolas and trapping rabbits with his Dad and helping his Mum out in the kitchen. Thank you Geoff it was a great mix of past and present cooking adventures. Next you will hear from Hanne.
Celebrate F.O.O.D. Week with Books on the Menu
Yummo! F.O.O.D. Week is almost here. Celebrate with us at Orange City Library by indulging in local produce while discovering the best cookbooks and favourite recipes from experienced foodies based in the food capital of Orange:
” Geoff White
” Hanne Hoelaas
” Gordon Muir and
” Kathy Snowball
during our Books on the Menu event. It is free but please RSVP to Orange City Library on 6393 8132 to assist with catering and seating. It all happens on Wednesday 14 April from 5.30pm 7.30pm. Discover which cookbooks inspire our local foodies. For a full program of FOOD Week events go to: www.orangefoodweek.com.au