The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Indulgence -

LIVE the laid­back By­ron Bay life­style through the eyes of long-time res­i­dent and chef Steven Snow in his beau­ti­ful new book By­ron Cook­ing and Eat­ing (Mur­doch Books, $69.95, out in Septem­ber).

Snow, of Fins restau­rant (which last year re­lo­cated from By­ron’s fa­mous Beach Ho­tel to Kingscliff), lets seafood and or­ganic pro­duce play a star­ring role along­side the coastal town’s su­perb beaches and land­scapes in a tome evoca­tively pho­tographed by Brett Board­man.

Snow says he was in­spired by his ex­ten­sive trav­els to cre­ate fresh, nu­tri­tious food and in this book he presents a se­lec­tion of his Fins sig­na­ture recipes as well as the ca­sual fare he says he whips up at home for friends and fam­ily. He also takes the op­por­tu­nity to talk about why he fell in love with the town he calls home. He says, ‘‘ It would be im­pos­si­ble to at­tempt this (book) without also shar­ing the su­perb nat­u­ral beauty and abun­dance of the By­ron shire where I have lived and worked for the past 20 years, and which has been piv­otal in in­spir­ing the way I live, cook and eat.’’ We’re rather taken by his recipes for Chilean scal­lop ce­viche and span­ner crab chow­der. And who doesn’t like a bowl of sticky rice with mango? With seem­ingly no end in sight to this dreary win­ter, Snow’s new book— per­fect for dis­play­ing on the cof­fee ta­ble as well as for prop­ping up in the kitchen — of­fers a tan­ta­lis­ing glimpse of sum­mer. AUS­TRALIANS bought more than $150 mil­lion worth of im­ported wines last year and are the world’s big­gest drinkers of vin­tage cham­pagne per capita. It’s with th­ese handy din­ner party con­ver­sa­tion starters in mind that lo­cal wine writer An­gus Hugh­son de­cided to put to­gether World Wine: The Im­ported Wine Hand­book (Longueville Books, $29.95, out in Septem­ber), to guide ded­i­cated Aussie drinkers through the maze of for­eign wines arriving on our shores. His hand­book re­views and rates hun­dreds of im­ported wines now avail­able here, trav­el­ling through new-world re­gions such as the US and Ar­gentina, in ad­di­tion to old favourites in­clud­ing France and Italy. Hugh­son, who writes for GourmetTrav­ellerWine and TheDai­lyTele­graph among oth­ers, pro­vides ex­pert ad­vice on how to read la­bels and dis­cusses grow­ing re­gions, grape types and his­tory. Per­haps most im­por­tant for this wine novice, how­ever, is his guid­ance on which wines should be cracked open dur­ing a bar­bie, and which def­i­nitely should be put away for a spe­cial oc­ca­sion or in­vest­ment pur­poses. Now that could save many a mar­riage. Michelle Rowe

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