Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - BOOKS - BUSY MAN:

CUR­TIS Stone thought he had a busy life – then his son was born. Now he un­der­stands the dilemma of to­day’s fam­i­lies who jug­gle work, kids and cook­ing good meals each night.

“You think you have a busy life be­fore you have kids be­cause you do and then you have a child and you’re like, ‘ My God, now I know what a busy life’s all about’.”

And, for now at least, Stone has only one child. His boy, Hud­son, is 18 months old and hasn’t even be­gun to ut­ter the phrase so of­ten heard by par­ents: “What’s for din­ner?” But it’s the ti­tle of his lat­est book. “When you get asked that ques­tion, ‘ What’s for din­ner?’ you’re not try­ing to cre­ate some gourmet ex­pe­ri­ence, you’re try­ing to feed your fam­ily healthy, de­li­cious food – it’s that sim­ple.”

He’s a trained chef who has worked for the ac­claimed Marco Pierre White and run busy restau­rants in Lon­don, but it’s the fam­ily side of cook­ing that Stone is happy to fo­cus on.

“I’ve been in touch with home cooks for a long time – I am one my­self,” he says.

Since Hud­son was born, Stone un­der­stands how mothers and fa­thers some­times have to cook with one hand, hold­ing the baby with the other.

“In this book I’m not try­ing to show off how great I am, I’m try­ing to pro­duce recipes that home cooks will use – it will sort of turn into their bi­ble.”

Af­ter cook­ing in hun­dreds of dif­fer­ent homes around the world, Stone re­alised no mat­ter the na­tion­al­ity, one chal­lenge com­mon to all is that al­most ev­ery­one is busy.

“It’s time, it’s money, it’s the wash­ing up, it’s be­ing healthy – so I’ve writ­ten a book around those chal­lenges, of­fer­ing recipes that solve those prob­lems.

“We’re all busy, and we’ve put so much on our plates, lit­er­ally, that it’s time to get back to that im­por­tant part of a fam­ily’s life, – a homecooked meal,” Stone said.

“Imag­ine walk­ing into a home and you open the front door and you smell that some­one’s been cook­ing. You ap­pre­ci­ate that per­son, you co- op­er­ate with the rest of the fam­ily by set­ting the ta­ble and do­ing the wash­ing up af­ter­wards, you com­mu­ni­cate through din­ner and there are all th­ese loving fam­ily qual­i­ties that hap­pen be­cause of the home- cooked meal.”

It’s clear Stone is a fam­ily man, too. Dur­ing the in­ter­view out­side his Syd­ney ho­tel he waves to his mum and dad, who are up­stairs with Hud­son and Stone’s wife Lind­say.

is di­vided into eight log­i­cal and prac­ti­cal chap­ters.

It starts off with Mo­ti­vat­ing Mon­days, a se­lec­tion of healthy meals that start the week off right.

Then it’s Time- Sav­ing Tues­days, One- Pot Wed­nes­days, Thrifty Thurs­day and Five- In­gre­di­ent Fri­days.

For the week­end it’s Din­ner Party Satur­days for some­thing a bit spe­cial and then the ever- im­por­tant Fam­ily Sup­per Sun­days a chap­ter Stone feels strongly about – food made with lots of love.

Last but not least is the ev­er­im­por­tant dessert chap­ter. has based her lat­est novel on a very real por­tion of nov­el­ist Vic­tor Hugo’s life. In 1843, Hugo’s beloved 19- year- old daugh­ter drowned and over the fol­low­ing 10 years he em­barked on a mys­ti­cal jour­ney to re­con­nect with her. In Rose’s novel, the mod­ern- day pro­tag­o­nist Jac L’Etoile trav­els to the Isle of Jersey, where Hugo lived in the 1850s, to learn more about the sea- beaten is­land. In the process, L’Etoile dis­cov­ers se­crets about the is­land that span cen­turies.

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