Four-way fu­sion

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Pay-tv - ERICA THOMP­SON

THEY may know their way around a kitchen, but best­selling au­thors Kim McCosker and Rachael Ber­ming­ham are hav­ing a lit­tle trou­ble nav­i­gat­ing their way out of New­cas­tle.

‘‘Darl, I think we’re on the wrong road,’’ McCosker says to Ber­ming­ham dur­ing a phone in­ter­view with The Guide.

‘‘I’ve not seen any of be­fore. It’s not fa­mil­iar.’’ She con­sults the map. ‘‘I just can’t see where we’ve gone wrong here ac­tu­ally . . . (into the phone) it’s just me and Rach at the mo­ment so God only knows where we’re gonna end up. You’ve heard of Thelma and Louise . . . but where’s Brad Pitt? That’s what I’m askin’.’’

The down-to-earth pair have been on the road since the wee hours, driv­ing to ra­dio in­ter­views and book sign­ings to pro­mote 4 In­gre­di­ents 2, the aptly ti­tled fol­low-up to their hit cook­book 4 In­gre­di­ents.

The orig­i­nal self-pub­lished col­lec­tion, which be­gan as ‘‘a lit­tle ad in the lo­cal pa­per’’ that McCosker and Ber­ming­ham would hand-de­liver to cus­tomers, was the sec­ond high­est-sell­ing ti­tle in Aus­tralia last year be­hind Harry Pot­ter.

The two child­hood friends are mak­ing their tele­vi­sion de­but on the Life­style Chan­nel with a six­part se­ries based on the quick and easy 4 In­gre­di­ents phi­los­o­phy, which en­com­passes ev­ery­thing from sim­ple mid-week meals to nine-course din­ner par­ties for six for less than $150.

Not bad for two mums from the

this Sun­shine Coast who don’t con­sider them­selves par­tic­u­larly good cooks.

‘‘Oh God darl, no way,’’ McCosker shrieks when asked if she has any culi­nary train­ing.

‘‘My back­ground is in fi­nance and Rachael’s is in mar­ket­ing. We are truly two of the least likely girls to have ever writ­ten a cook­book. Our friends can’t be­lieve it’s us.

‘‘I think maybe that’s part of the ap­peal. We’re not chefs. We don’t know how to be that fancy and fab­u­lous.’’

What they do know is how it feels to face the dreaded ‘‘What’s for din­ner?’’ ques­tion at the end of a busy day.

‘‘You’re tired and still jug­gling a mil­lion things,’’ McCosker, a mother of three, says. ‘‘And you open th­ese great recipe books — and we own stacks of them — but there are 15 in­gre­di­ents you have to peel and chop and pre­pare. We just thought there had to be a sim­pler way.’’

That way meant set­ting some rules, namely, recipes with four in­gre­di­ents or fewer, ex­plained in about four sen­tences and re­quir­ing only one cup, one ta­ble­spoon and one tea­spoon in the way of tools.

‘‘Every­one is af­ter more time and more money, and 4 In­gre­di­ents gives that back to you,’’ Ber­ming­ham says. ‘‘We had one email from a lady — her food bill was $450 a week. It’s gone down to $200 a week us­ing 4 In­gre­di­ents.’’

SHE says the recipe col­lec­tion has also grown sig­nif­i­cantly and even in­spired a third book: Gluten-free 4 In­gre­di­ents.

‘‘A lot of peo­ple have seen the ads (for the TV show) so they’re re­ally ex­cited to meet you in per­son, which is a new thing for us,’’ Ber­ming­ham says.

But don’t think of call­ing them celebri­ties.

‘‘The great thing is it’s just Rach and me,’’ McCosker says. ‘‘We’re not ac­tors, we’re just us. I re­ally think that if you like the books, if you like to cook de­li­cious food eas­ily and quickly, you’ll get a kick out of our show.’’

One four all:

Rachael Ber­ming­ham and Kim McCosker.

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