Cookbooks: Asian After Work, Clean Living, Veganissimo, In the Mix 2, Love to Cook & More

The Christmas gift season is fast approaching and what better way than to give the budding or more seasoned cook inspiration in their kitchens. Here’s what hot on the book shelves for summer 2013.

The Blue Ducks – Mark Labrooy & Darren Robertson

Three Blue Ducks, BronteBronte’s Three Blue Ducks restaurant has takes Sydney by storm since it opened in 2010. In their first book, The Blue Ducks, Mark Labrooy and Darren Robertson share more than 80 of their most enticing recipes, using eggs direct from their ‘Chook Mahal’, honey from nearby bees, meat and seafood sourced locally, and herbs and veggies grown in the garden.

Delicious food, sustainability, the importance of community and the joy of surfing are evident throughout the book which motivates the reader to get in the kitchen to create some tasty dishes without overly complicated recipes. The vibrant use of colour, along with the denim clad book spine reflect the beach and surfing lifestyle that complement the recipes. RRP $39.99

Love to Cook – Valli Little

love to cook

To cookbook fans, Valli Little needs no introduction and her latest, delicious. Love to Cook is the eighth addition to her culinary repertoire. Beautifully presented and photographed, 140 simple to make recipes bring back the joy of spending time in the kitchen and sharing home cooking at the table.

Whether it’s an Heirloom Tomato Tart, Fattoush with Labne, Beef Roulades with Parsely Pesto, or the irresistible Salmon with Mexican flavours, the book celebrates all that we love to eat in Mediterranean, Asian, French, South American and Australian flavours. RRP $39.99


Fast, Fresh and Unbelievably Delicious – Matt Preston


In his second cookbook, Fast, Fresh and Unbelievably Delicious, Matt Preston shares recipes for what he likes to cook for family and friends using ingredients easily found in local supermarket and with equipment found in most Aussie homes.

The focus is on fresher, lighter, healthier recipes with more Asian flavours, vibrant summer salads loaded with punch and crispiness, crunchy dishes that eat light with more vegetarian dishes.

Open the sealed section, if you dare, for that once a year indulgence that should be guilt-free. RRP $39.99


Veganissimo! – Leigh Drew


You may not be a fully-fledged vegan but know someone who is or need to occasionally entertain a friend or family member. Veganissimo by Leigh Drew is a collection of creative recipes that have universal appeal including to non-vegans. You’ll find tempting receipes such as Portobello Burgers with the Lot, a Lancashire Hotpot, several curries and a Hazelnut Chocolate Torte.

All recipes are vegan with some gluten-free and soy free indicated at the top of each recipe. Some dishes take less than 30 minutes to prepare and include a concise list of ingredients.Veganission also includes advice on replacing dairy and eggs and includes a comprehensive introduction to the basics of a vegan pantry. RRP $34.99.


Asian After Work – Adam Liaw


Asian After Work is the second book by Masterchef Australia’s Adam Liaw. The former lawyer shares his love of Asian Food and demonstrates to the home cook the ease with which fast, simple food can fit into a busy lifestyle.

Adam also shares his family favourites as well as recipes that use ingredients easily found in supermarkets as opposed to Asian stores. Pan Sushi, Duck Buns, Miso-Roasted Eggplants, Grilled Prawns with Salty Lime and a Leche Flan are examples of what you could soon be cooking at home.

RRP  $39.99.


In the Mix 2 – Dani Valent


Whether you’re a beginner or a whiz with Thermomix, Dani Valent’s In the Mix 2: More Great Thermomix Recipes brings creative ideas to make stunning restaurant quality dishes in your kitchen.

With easy to follow recipes, the book also showcases restaurant dishes from 74 contributors in 20 countries, including recipes from Tetsuya Wakuda, Ben Shewry, Mark Best, Brent Savage, Paul Wilson and Hadleigh Troy. International chefs such as England’s Gary Foulkes and Spain’s Elena Arzak also share their creations. The book includes menu plans, ‘getting started’ suggestions and 29 of Dani’s family-style dishes, suitable for time-poor cooks and Thermomix beginners. RRP $60.


Clean Living – Luke Hines & Scott Gooding

cleanlivingClean Living, by personal trainers and enthusiastic amateur cooks, Luke Hines & Scott Gooding is a lifestyle, food and exercise book designed to provide a three-week overhaul that will kick start you on the journey to a healthy new you.

The book is part exercise routines, part recipes with a 3 week menu and fitness plan designed to encourage a healthier diet and lifestyle. It’s not all salads and quinoa. Recipes include Shakshuka with Crispy Bacon, Dukkah Kangaroo and Pecan Crusted Tuna.

With a fully illustrated exercise plan and a three-week menu plan, you will be inspired to embrace healthier eating and living this summer. RRP $29.99


Happy cooking!

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.