A Cook's Life

A Cook's Life


By (author) Stephanie Alexander

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  • Publisher: Lantern
  • Format: Hardback | 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 234mm x 42mm | 680g
  • Publication date: 1 April 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Camberwell
  • ISBN 10: 1921382783
  • ISBN 13: 9781921382789
  • Sales rank: 475,354

Product description

With The Cook's Companion front and center in 500,000 kitchens, Stephanie Alexander is the very definition of a household name. Each day thousands turn to her "food bible" for the most reliable recipes and advice. But before Stephanie Alexander penned a word for the emerging food media, let alone for The Cook's Companion, she had spent decades avidly documenting food experiences. Shaped by her mother's dedication to good food and her father's love of reading, she trained as a librarian and all the while observed, assessed, and re-created the dishes she loved. Her monthly university allowance rarely lasted more than a week—all spent on pan-fried flounder and chestnut Mont Blanc. She was seduced over pain Poîlane while working as an au pair in Paris, and later over ackee and saltfish in London. In 1966, with no formal culinary training and a newborn baby, but brimming with confidence and sheer determination, she opened Jamaica House with her first husband. The personal toll was great and it was many years until she emerged on the restaurant scene again. Stephanie's Restaurant would become part of Melbourne food folklore, permanently raising the bar for restaurant dining in Australia. At the time of its opening, in 1976, a salad to most people meant iceberg lettuce, nobody had heard of goat's cheese, and ginger came in a tin. Over the next 21 years, in her quest for the sort of produce she had enjoyed while living and travelling in Europe, Stephanie championed small local suppliers or grew it herself. Her indefatigable determination and single-minded vision have influenced—and sometimes intimidated—a generation of chefs, cooks, and diners. And now her Kitchen Garden Foundation is inspiring tens of thousands of primary school children across Australia to grow and cook their own food. A Cook's Life is a very personal account of one woman's uncompromising commitment to good food, and of how it shaped her life and changed the eating habits of a nation.

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Author information

Stephanie Alexander ran the acclaimed Stephanie's Restaurant for 21 years before closing it in 1997, then for eight years was a founding partner in the popular Richmond Hill Cafe & Larder. Stephanie was awarded a Medal of the Order Of Australia in 1994 for her services to the hospitality industry and to tourism, and for encouraging young apprentices, and become Victorian of the Year in 2010. Since 2001 she has led the groundbreaking work of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation, promoting a primary school kitchen garden program that can be integrated with the general primary school curriculum, now operating nationally in 500 schools and growing. Her strong belief is that the earlier children learn about food through example and pleasurable hands-on experience, the better their food choices will be through life. In 2013 Stephanie was awarded Officer of the Order of Australia for this project. Among Stephanie's other books are Stephanie's Menus for Food Lovers, Stephanie's Seasons, Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion, Stephanie Alexander & Maggie Beer's Tuscan Cookbook, the widely acclaimed Cooking and Travelling in South-West France, and her memoir, A Cook's Life. stephaniealexander.com.au