Friday, October 17, 2008


They were abuzz at the Auckland offices of Allen & Unwin this morning when the first airfrefighted copy of Heston Blumenthal's massive FAT DUCK COOKBOOK arrived. Publication in the UK where it has attracted enormous media attention was last Friday.
This afternoon The Bookman met up in Ponsonby's Agnes Curran cafe with Allen & Unwin's switched on NZ Publicity Manager Abba Renshaw (pic below) to be one of the first to see what all the fuss is about.
The first thing you notice of course is the size. It is huge. The two words that spring to mind when browsing through the book are massive and handsome. The book employs a mixture of superb drawings by Dave McKean and a raft of fabulous photographs from four leading photographers. Occasionally the drawings and photos are combined to great effect.
This is probably not a book you are going to buy in order to make the recipes, some of those I read looked fiendishly difficult,but if you are seriously interested in food, and have a passion for superbly designed and illustrated cookbooks, and have the spare readies, then this 516 page monster is for you. I am sure some of NZ's leading chefs will want a copy for their shelves.
My guess is that the total NZ sales might just about break into double figures. Abba was a little coy when I started asking about numbers but unsurprisingly at NZ$340 a copy there are no review copies available.
I wonder if Auckland City Libraries will have a copy?

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