Review | Wednesday 28 March 2012
This is the story of a determined woman. There are no flies on our Stephanie Alexander (I feel like I can say ‘our’). I mean, is there a household in Melbourne that does not have a Stephanie Alexander cookbook?
This extraordinarily hardworking woman has not stopped writing, entertaining, teaching, travelling and cooking since she was a wee child. It may be in the genes. Stephanie Alexander’s mother was a creative woman, teaching art and keeping track of her life through a series of notebooks. Following the trend of strong and fearless women, Stephanie Alexander has also recorded her life through notebooks, menus and cookbooks. A Cook’s Life is both her story and that of her family. Beautifully crafted writing links together minutes from her life. There are photos from the early days right up to records of her time spent in gardens surrounded by school children.
Through her cooking Stephanie Alexander has been able to change Australia’s thinking about food. Her determination has influenced a generation of chefs and now her Kitchen Garden Foundation is changing the way our children think about food. Three cheers for a formidable woman. Three cheers for wonderful glimpse into her life. Highly recommended, although note – there are no recipes in this book, only wonderful stories of friendships, families and travels.
Christine Gordon is the Events Coordinator for Readings and is a committee member of The Stella Prize.