At Home with Chris Gordon, April 2020

Our food and gardening columnist recommends three food and gardening books to enjoy this month.


An Australian Garden by Philip Cox

We should all understand the importance of maintaining indigenous Australian landscapes and gardens. Renowned architect Philip Cox always considered this vital and so some forty years ago purchased eighty hectares on the south coast of NSW as a private retreat and a conservation exercise. Applying his own aesthetic principles of vista, light, texture, colour and mass, Philip worked with nature to reveal and enhance the bushland in an enticing way. An Australian Garden captures this unique vision of a wild landscape, tamed here and there with art or shelters. This is a beautiful book, filled with glorious images of our country’s bush. There are no nods to English pastures, but rather images filled with wonderful intensity and spirit of our own land. This would be a glorious (and aspirational) gift for any gardener that understands the importance of our own plants and is (soon) looking for their own piece of paradise.


Falastin by Sami Tamimi & Tara Wigley

Named after the Palestinian newspaper that brought together a diverse people, Falastin is a commemoration of a cuisine and a way of life. The story of Palestine’s food is really the story ofits people. When the events of 1948 forced residents of Palestine together into one compressed land, recipes that were once closely guarded family secrets were shared and passed between different groups in an effort to ensure that they were not lost forever. Sami Tamimi retraces the lineage and evolution of his country’s cuisine, from refugee-camp cooks to the home kitchens of Gaza and the mill of a master tahini maker. Recipes are quite extraordinary and include such dishes as fish kofta or pulled lamb schwarma sandwiches. If you have enjoyed the food of Ottolenghi, then this is the perfect next step. By the by, Sami was born and raised in Jerusalem. He became head chef of Lilith, one of the top restaurants in Tel Aviv and the company includes restaurants, Nopi and Rovi, in London. Alongside Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi is co-author of: Ottolenghi and Jerusalem.


The Art of Cake by Alice Oehr

This is for all people who bake cakes for whatever reason: whether it is to fill their house with wonderful aromas, to sell at the local school fete, to impress friends and family with desert or simply to eat for the pure joy of it all. Melbourne based Alice Oehr is a celebrated graphic designer and illustrator who works in a signature palette filled with bold vibrant colours. She has always favoured drawing cakes and this wonderful kaleidoscope of colour is a brilliant exploration of the history & cultural significance of fifty cakes from around the world. These cakes have been chosen not just for their delicious flavours and graphic appeal. After all the humble cake is about so much more than just flavour; it incorporates history, culture and therapy. This sweet perfect gift book includes origin stories, explanations and interesting facts for everyone who has a taste for cake. Alice Oehr celebrates the finery of cake: the colours, patterns, toppings, packaging and forms of display, teaching us to fully appreciate our favourite desserts.

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Sami Tamimi, Tara Wigley

$39.99Buy now

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