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