Will swim­ming stars Thorpe and Sullivan come up trunks with new food fo­cus?

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Indulgence - MICHELLE ROWE

FOOD De­tec­tive can’t re­mem­ber when swim­mer Ian Thorpe ap­peared on MasterChef Aus­tralia but he must have done, be­cause he’s got a cook­book out.

Thorpe joins the plethora of celebri­ties who’ve jumped on the gourmet band­wagon and his book, Cook for Your Life, con­tains such cre­ations as eu­ca­lyp­tus­in­fused tur­key, the inspiration for which came about, he says, when he was ‘‘in the kitchen star­ing out the win­dow and won­der­ing what to cook for din­ner, [and] a eu­ca­lyp­tus tree caught my eye’’. Thank heav­ens Thorpe’s peep­ers didn’t fall on the Hills hoist, is all De­tec­tive can say, or we might have been treated to the likes of Ly­cra-wrapped chicken breast with a chlo­rine jus, or towel-steamed tofu.

These swim­mers are a com­pet­i­tive bunch in and out of the pool; Ea­mon Sullivan also has a cook­book out next month. Ea­mon’s Kitchen con­tains ‘‘100 ro­bust no-fuss recipes for ev­ery­day and en­ter­tain­ing’’, and pre­sum­ably a few that are ideal for moul­der­ing in cling film at the bot­tom of one’s sports bag.

Sullivan is a MasterChef vet­eran, hav­ing won the first Celebrity MasterChef se­ries, so De­tec­tive is hardly sur­prised he’s now a cook­book au­thor. It’s only a mat­ter of time be­fore he’s fronting his own food show and jug­gling a chain of restau­rants in be­tween Olympics warm-ups. More: hardiegrant.com.au; pen­guin.com.au.

NOWhere is some­thing worth div­ing in at the deep end for. West Aus­tralian Joyce Westrip is sell­ing her li­brary of 900 In­dian cook­books, col­lected since the 1950s.

Westrip was born in south­ern In­dia and has lived in Perth since 1955, where she was awarded a Medal of the Or­der of Aus­tralia for her work pro­mot­ing cul­tural links be­tween Aus­tralia and In­dia.

Westrip is a cook­book au­thor her­self and her col­lec­tion is re­garded as one of the largest and most com­pre­hen­sive line-ups of In­dian, Per­sian and Asian food books and re­lated ephemera — in­clud­ing illustrated and dec­o­ra­tive menus from Bri­tish In­dia, restau­rants and ban­quets — and she is re­luc­tantly let­ting it go af­ter down­siz­ing her home.

‘‘I will be 82 this year and it was time to say good­bye to items I could no longer house. The hard­est de­ci­sion was to put my cook­book col­lec­tion on the mar­ket. I have loved and do still love each and ev­ery one of them,’’ Westrip tells De­tec­tive. ‘‘The two books that started me off on my col­lec­tion were an 1883 copy of Culi­nary Jottings for Madras by Colonel A.R. Her­bert, and The Com­plete In­dian House­keeper and Cook by Steel and Gar­diner — my copy is [from] 1911. They were so quaintly writ­ten; do­mes­tic man­u­als, re­ally, for the mem­sahibs newly ar­rived in In­dia.’’

The col­lec­tion is to be sold in its en­tirety —‘‘I would not have the heart to split them’’ — for $40,000.

For a full list of ti­tles in­cluded in Westrip’s In­dian Cook­ing Li­brary, con­tact Robert Muir Old & Rare Books in Ned­lands, Perth. More: muir­books.com.

DE­TEC­TIVE was in­ter­ested to hear that Jamie Oliver and Sains­bury’s have sev­ered their ties af­ter 11 years. Oliver ap­peared in more than 100 ad­ver­tise­ments for the Bri­tish su­per­mar­ket chain and his ‘‘Feed your Fam­ily for a Fiver’’ cam­paign was the pre­cur­sor to sim­i­lar pro­grams such as Aus­tralian Cur­tis Stone’s ‘‘Feed Your Fam­ily for Un­der $10’’ for Coles. De­tec­tive reck­ons that if Oliver, fa­mous for his cam­paigns to get hos­pi­tal pa­tients, school­child­ren and obese Amer­i­cans eat­ing more healthily, finds him­self at a loose end, he might want to look up NSWaged­care char­ity Ham­mondCare which is on the hunt for an ex­ec­u­tive chef to ‘‘lead a food ser­vice revo­lu­tion in the sec­tor’’.

‘‘Maggie Beer told us she’d rather be dead than eat the food served in many aged-care fa­cil­i­ties,’’ says Hammond spokesman Peter Hal­lett. ‘‘[We have] a long his­tory of try­ing to lead the aged-care sec­tor to­wards greater food en­joy­ment and choice. The search for an ex­ec­u­tive chef with great restau­rant ex­pe­ri­ence is the lat­est step.’’ More: hammond.com.au.

rowemi@theaus­tralian.com.au

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