It’s a great time to be a food-lover and a fan of Boomerang Books. We have three copies of Julie Goodwin’s new book, Our Family Table, to give away – all signed by Australia’s first Masterchef herself! To enter, visit our BoomerangBooks Facebook page here and tell us, what’s your favourite dish?
The book itself is a wonderfully informal look at cooking for family and friends. No shots of sculpted food, almost too terrifyingly perfect to eat, this book is a celebration of cooking for people you love; warm and friendly and beautifully laid out. It sprinkles family anecdotes in amongst the delicious recipes, and has a blank chapter at the back for you to create your own favourites. I caught up with Julie to ask her a few questions on coming up with the book design and recipes and what she’s planning on cooking up next.
Our Family Table was never intended to just be a collection of recipes. I have always loved the community and sharing aspect of food and cooking, and that is what I wanted to explore when I wrote the book. I asked many friends and family members to tell me about their favourite food memories and recipes. This book is the result of their answers, and my own.
How did you find the process of working on the book? What did you enjoy the most?
I loved the process of writing the book. I enjoyed testing all the recipes (so did the family!) but most of all I loved the conversations that we had and the memories that came up.
There is a blank chapter waiting for the addition of the readers’ favourite family recipes. What have you currently got cooking up to be added in there someday?
There are tons of my favourites that need to go in the back – steak and Bearnaise, Fettucine Carbonara, home made sausage rolls – they’re all family favourites that I haven’t written down yet.
Did Masterchef change the way you cooked? What do you do differently now?
I learned so much from Masterchef and all the wonderful people who shared their knowledge and talent with us. Since then I have more time to make things from scratch so I make a lot more of my pasta. I have also bought a very fancy ice cream machine which is getting a bit of a workout!
I can see this book being gifted to a lot of people who are starting to cook. Which recipes would you recommend as a first project for an aspiring Masterchef who is still working out how to get started in the kitchen?
My best advice to anyone who wants to learn to cook, is to start with something that they really love to eat. That way, they know how it should look and taste. Then they should practice it until they are happy with the result. That will build confidence. Then, choose another dish that they would really love to eat – and on from there, building a repertoire one dish at a time.
Finally, if you could invite any person in the world for dinner with your family, who would it be and what would you cook them?
I would invite the MasterChef judges and their families. I’d love to be able to cook for them in my own environment, my own kitchen in my own time. I would put on a huge feast of shared food in the middle of the table – roasted meats, BBQ seafood, vegetables, sauces, bread, wine, beer, cheese, desserts…by the end hopefully the kids would be running wild around the back yard and the grownups would be groaning on the couch.