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A week in the kitchen

April 16th, 2012

Image courtesy of Jacana Media

I rarely make an impulse book buy these days. While I love the tactile medium of paper I must admit I’m a bit of digital media convert having moved my magazines subs to Zinio, but then this happens…

I have no idea why I was walking down the cookery isle at Exclusive Books, but I was, and there stood ‘A week in The Kitchen’. There wasn’t a dedicated point of sale display or any kind of fan fare heralding its release, just a few copies sitting playfully on the shelf.

I’ve eaten at author Karen Dudley’s eatery of the same name in Woodstock several times, who hasn’t, even Michelle Obama stopped in for a bite, as all first ladies do from time to time.

Image courtesy of Jacana Media

I love her food, the decor, the vibe, and as she describes in the book all ‘made with love’, and trust me, I know. As a farmer I know and taste love every time I harvest our vegetables.

So I picked it up and it was love at first sight. Karen’s mix of alternative grains and starches in her dishes is what immediately drew me in, it’s peasant food, not at all said with any disdain or condemnation, rather humbled reverence, it’s food for the people, my food, your food and the results are easily achieved at home and enjoyed around the table with friends.

But it’s not just a cook book, in fact it’s so far from being a studio styled culinary creation that I’m not sure what to call it. It’s much more.

Pouring over the recipes I found myself transfixed at the lack of studio styling, the simple rustic refined treasures are laid bare on the table, the familiar faces that stop in for lunches, the staff working on their creations all showcased between the pages.

Image courtesy of Jacana Media

The images were captured by the lovely Russel Wasserfall, you may have seen my previous post on his jointly own eatery The Table with wife Camilla Comins whose kitchen garden I designed and planted.

Russel chose to simply showcase the food as is using no studio lights or any other styling props other than the Kitchens own decor, it was shot over a week in November last year and the book is arranged as such, recipes grouped into days of the week.

Having only purchased it yesterday I got stuck into making a dish. I harvested aubergines and fresh basil from the garden and whipped up her roasted aubs, letils, feta and basil salad.

Tonight I tried my hand at her African Burn Salad, a one pot wonder that is packed with flavours and textures and takes but 10 minutes to make.

In case you haven’t already realized I HIGHLY recommend you buy a copy, which you can do here. If you are still sitting on the fence why not take a peek at publisher Jacana’s interactive flip through and sample a few recipes here.

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One Response to “A week in the kitchen”

  1. Matt Allison Reviews A Week in The Kitchen by Karen Dudley | Books LIVE

    [...] Complete review: Curate This Space [...]

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