At Home with Chris Gordon, February 2020

Our monthly food and gardening columnist looks to the year of cookbooks ahead and makes some predictions for what foods will be trending in 2020…


Guess what the vegetable for 2020 is? Be still my heart, it’s brussels sprout! And the drink for the year is oat milk, which I believe is basically porridge.

A new decade brings so many promises for a better and kinder life, with or without sprouts. Certainly the rush of cookbooks coming our way in 2020 will make you feel virtuous just by reading their front pages. The food trend for 2020 is simply to be healthy. Given that broad church of inspiration, look out for a delightful variety of cookbooks applauding a vegan lifestyle. Plant-based innovation in food and beverages is continuing to flourish as a result of our interest in health, sustainability and ethics. As the use of the term ‘plant-based’ moves more into our cookbooks we will be cooking with more and more meat and dairy alternatives. Alas, this brings us to oat milk.

Certainly, all this innovation makes me cherish the books that praise simple home dinners with techniques passed down from generation to generation. As the world tilts on its axis, the need to be at home, living quietly and gently with friends and family seems to be a growing desire amongst us all.

A great example of one of Melbourne’s own leaders in this field is the charming and talented Julia Busuttil Nishimura. You may remember how beautiful and simple her first book, Ostro, was. This Melbourne-based cook, author and teacher, celebrates simple food. Her new cookbook, A Year of Simple Family Food, will bring you amazing pasta dishes and innovative salads that can be shared with everyone you love. The recipes are not complicated and have been created with the home cook in mind. Similarly I’m counting down the days until I can get my hands on Ombra, the new book from another Melbourne-based cook, Carlo Grossi. Ombra is all about filling your pantry with delicious preserved food. Inspired by the ‘salumerie’ of Italy, Ombra focuses on making the most of nature’s abundance by using techniques that for centuries have prolonged nature’s bounty through processes like drying, smoking, salting, fermenting, pickling and candying.

Regula Ysewijn’s Oats in the North, Wheat from the South will bring us some good news from Britain in April. Within is the history of British baking through savoury and sweet classic baking ideas. It’s all super straightforward. Also look out for Lindsay Miles’s new guide, The Less Waste, No Fuss Kitchen in June, which is designed for people like me: those of us who are busy and conscious that changes must be made. This excellent and informative collection of recipes and ideas will help, I promise!

In the meantime, I just cannot stop using the excellent Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat because it is even better than the TV show and makes me feel grounded and adventurous all at once. I hope this feeling will carry me (and you) through the year from family feasting days to Tuesday evenings when darkness arrives at 5pm.

Eat Green

Eat Green

Melissa Hemsley

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