It would be interesting to know what % of non-fiction book sales in New Zealand and Australia are represented by cookbooks. My guess is that in the non-fiction arena they are probably dominant.
Certainly the quality of cookbook publishing on both sides of the Tasman has improved dramatically in recent years and I rate them as good, often better, as those produced anywhere in the world.
There are a number of publishers who specialise in cookbooks and they do it especially well. In Australia there is Murdoch Books and Lantern (an imprint of Penguin) while in New Zealand Penguin seem to be setting the pace. Having said that many others also produce some excellent books among them Allen & Unwin in Australia and Random House in New Zealand albeit in smaller numbers .
Here then from some of the abovementioned publishers are some of the superb cookbooks that have crossed my desk this past month.
From Penguin Books NZ:
Grow It Cook It –$50
The New Zealand Seafood Cookbook - $50
Bake - $45
From Murdoch Books:
Venezia – Food & Dreams - $65
30 Minute Meals - $35
Allen & Unwin:
The Basics-A really useful cookbook $39.99
Random House NZ:
Kai Ora – fresh, health food made with Aroha $49.99
Sally Cameron with photography by Charlie Smith
This chunky, appealing book is both cookbook and gardening book and shows how simple it is to grow your own vegetables followed up by Sally Cameron’s 355 delicious recipes.
And the Child’s Play section has fun ideas to introduce kids to planting seeds and later turning the harvest into meals.
Sally Cameron has been a food writer, stylist and editor in both New Zealand and the UK and now lives on Auckland’s North Shore. She has written several cookbooks and runs her own catering company.
Former advertising agency creative director Charlie Smith is now a specialist food photographer and his many fine colour photographs are a great contribution to the book. Pic right - feijoa crumble
THE NEW ZEALAND SEAFOOD COOKBOOK
Auckland Seafood School
Penguin Books - $50
The Auckland Seafood School has used five of their respected chefs to compile a wide range of fsih and shellfish recipes from everyday meals to major dinner parties.
The chefs – John Campbell, Peter Chaplin, Mark Dronjak, Petre New and Steve Roberts have collaborated to produce not just a stunning cookbook but also a comprehensive seafood reference book. And Sean Shadbolt’s food photography is mouthwatering. Right - cockle pasta
Favourite home-made recipes
Another sumptuous book filled with stunning photographs by Alan Gillard. Allyson Gofton, arguably the best-known name on the NZ food scene, shares in her latest book her years of baking experience with over 150 delicious and simple recipes including many Kiwi classics – biscuits, shortbread, slices and brownies, scones, loaves, muffins and cup cakes, puds and tarts, even bread – they are all in here. This is a real gem and will become the standard on the subject.
I asked Penguin Books NZ for a list of cookbooks they have published that are currently in print. Here is their response:
COOKBOOKS CURRENTLY IN PRINT ON THE PENGUIN NZ LIST (in no particular order)
After Work Cookbook
Julie Le Clerc
New Zealand Women's Weekly Cookbook
JLC @ home with love
JLC Café collection
Made in Morocco
More Simple Café Food
Ruth Pretty Entertains
Ruth Pretty's Favourite Recipes
Grow it Cook It
A Cook's Bible
Graham Warman and Paul Sorrell
A Cook's Tour of New Zealand
Auckland Seafood School
The New Zealand Seafood Cookbook
Annabelle Cooks Healthy
Best Ever Barbecue Recipes
Best Ever Cakes & Slices
New Zealand Federation of Women's Institutes
Recipes from The Heartland
Ladies a Plate
An impressive list I reckon!
Food & Dreams
Murdoch Books $65
This most truly gorgeous hardback title is as beautiful a book as I had the joy of handling in months. From the gold edges pages to the impressive binding, quality paper and French folds of the cover to the stunning photographs of Venice and her food everything about this book is sheer class. The ultimate gift book if you have a foodie friend and want to buy them something special. Or treat yourself to a copy. Just superb.
Interesting too that the Murdoch Books catalogue, in itself a collector’s item, (more about that later),uses artwork throughout from VENEZIA.
30 MINUTE MEALS
A commonsense guide
Murdoch Books - $35
This hardback spiral bound book is like an upmarket version of NZ’s biggest selling book, The Edmonds Cookery Book. Upmarket in the sense that every dish is illustrated with a colour photo and of course the book is totally devoted entirely to meals. Lunch and dinner, rather than including baking etc.
Ideal for busy people, families short on time it is a wonderful source book for cooks of all levels. Immensely practical. Great value.
A really useful cookbook
Allen & Unwin $39.99
The publishers claim that this is the only cookbook you will ever need. A courageous piece of cookbook publishing because it comes without a single photograph or illustration. In fact the publishers say that “this is a modern and useable resource book for a market filled with heavily designed and indulgent cookbooks”. !!
It is a whopper of a book, the thickness of the Auckland telephone directory, running to almost 600 pages and although I have yet to cook something from it browsing through it for almost an hour or so would suggest it does cover just about everything. And with both a recipe index and a general index it is extremely user-friendly.. great housewarming gift, or to give to young family member leaving hoem to set up flat.
Author Telford, a resident of beautiful Byron Bay, is a well-known TV chef in Australia, and at age 21 was the excecutive chef at Rydges Hotel in Melbourne.