Thursday, August 05, 2010

by Lauraine Jacobs, Ginny Grant, and Kathy Paterson
Random House - $49.99

A sensational salad served up from a new cookbook dedicated solely to veges and put together by a star team of food writers could never be accused of being “rabbit food.” Instead, with the indomitable Lauraine Jacobs leading the charge, veges have never looked better nor more irresistible. Even old favourites like cauli and brussels sprouts are all dressed and ready to party.

In bookshops from tomorrow, 6 August, The New Zealand Vegetable Cookbook is a sophisticated take on cooking our beautiful and bountiful fresh produce and places vegetables usually afforded a chapter at most in many cookbooks, at centre stage.

Lauraine, together with fellow food writers Ginny Grant and Kathy Patterson, has drawn on years of work with food to put together a collection of recipes like no other which celebrates the range and versatility of seasonal vegetables, so readily available today both with the proliferation of farmer’s markets and many Kiwis returning to growing their own herbs and vegetables at home.

This absolutely beautiful book, (and that is no exaggeration believe me),  — with outstanding photography from Aaron McLean which makes the dishes really sing — offers a wide range of recipes including entrees, light meals and main events such as pies and flans, risottos and pastas, as well as delicious sides and accompaniments.

Although the cookbook is sure to be welcomed by vegetarians, this isn’t a vegetarian book. It’s for people like The Bookman who likes meat but also likes more substantial and robust vegetable-based offerings. Some recipes include additions like prosciutto for those who simply can’t do without a bit of protein “on the side”.

The New Zealand Vegetable Cookbook is destined to become an indispensible classic for the home cook even in the most meat-loving of households and, rest assured, they won’t be left hungry.

With the stunning design, layout and photography to go with recipes that are easy and delicious, not to forget proper binding on very good paper, watch out for this book in various book awards next year. And if you can't afford to buy a copy right now, and you are a foodie, start saving or put the word out to family that this will make a very acceptable gift.

The Bookman reckons that the combination of three significant author/cuisine talents, the gorgeous food photography of Aaron McLean, the styling of Tam West, all pulled together under the immense design skills of Keely O'Shannessy, (2010 Young Designer of the Year), makes for a very very special book, a definite must-have. My congratulations to all concerned in the creation of this stunner.


Lauraine Jacobs has organised a week of launch celebrations including pop-up events, in-store signings and Turners & Growers support has made it possible for Lauraine, Ginny and Kathy to tour to Gisborne, Napier, Masterton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin this month.

For full event details visit:

About the authors:

Lauraine Jacobs is passionate about artisan produce, farmers’ markets, wine and fresh, healthy food. Well respected worldwide for her knowledge of food, wine and restaurant trends, she has authored eight cookbooks, including The Confident Cook and Matakana, both published by Random House. She is a former president of the US-based International Association of Culinary Professionals, was a member of the New Zealand Government Food & Beverage Taskforce 2006/2007 and currently serves as president of the New Zealand Guild of Food Writers. She has written for Fashion Quarterly, Cuisine, Cuisine Wine Country and numerous international publications. Lauraine was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2009 Queen’s Birthday honours. She resides in Auckland, New Zealand. Her website is

Ginny Grant is a deputy food editor at award-winning Cuisine magazine and a freelance food stylist. Her inspiration comes from the foods of the Mediterranean, with a particular love of the regional cuisines of Italy. She likes to cook simple food, prepared with a minimum of fuss using the freshest produce available. Ginny’s background is in the hospitality industry, cooking in a diverse range of restaurants and cafes from the River Café in London to Boulcott St Bistro and Nikau Gallery Café in Wellington, and Delicious in Auckland. She resides in Auckland with her partner Daniel and their two young sons.

Kathy Paterson taught cooking at the Cordon Bleu Cookery School in London and returned to New Zealand to teach at the Cordon Bleu, Parnell, Auckland. She then spent 20 years running a highly successful, exclusive Auckland catering company, through which she arranged events from small dinner parties to society weddings. After selling her business, Kathy worked at Villa Maria Wines helping to set up their events centre at Mangere. Kathy is a regular contributor to Real magazine and private chef to Auckland-based businessman Craig Heatley and his family, through which she satisfies her need to keep ‘hands-on cooking’. This is Kathy’s second cookbook. She resides in Auckland and spends as much time as she can on the family farm in the Wairarapa.

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