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won­drous ways with veg­eta­bles are per­haps what he’s best-known for, but any­one who’s wan­dered past the meringue-laden win­dows of his epony­mous Lon­don delis will know this Is­raeli chef is no chump when it comes to sweet treats ei­ther. In this book, Ot­tolenghi is joined by He­len Goh, his Mel­bourne-raised pas­try chef col­lab­o­ra­tor, on a tome packed with bis­cuits, cakes, desserts and con­fec­tionery. In a time when su­gar is seen by many as the en­emy, a book of tra­di­tional sweets is oddly re­fresh­ing, and the pref­ace sets out the au­thors’ man­i­festo: there’s noth­ing wrong with treats, as long as we know what they are and en­joy them as such. As for the 110 glob­ally in­flu­enced recipes (ev­ery­thing from rugelach and s’mores to Per­sian love cakes and pineap­ple tartlets with pan­dan and star anise), each and every one of them looks straight-up de­li­cious, not to men­tion achiev­able. ALICE NEVILLE brandy snaps: Al Brown has re­turned. The chef con­tin­ues to whip up clas­sics with a twist us­ing New Zealand’s raft of fine in­gre­di­ents in his lat­est book. There’s an un­sur­pris­ingly large sec­tion ded­i­cated to oceanic treats, and some more novel ad­di­tions like mut­ton­bird and kū­mara cakes and pāua pies, mean­ing this book will be si­mul­ta­ne­ously recog­nis­able and sur­pris­ing to the av­er­age Kiwi. Among the tu­atua frit­ters, of­fal and sal­ads, Brown prof­fers his lit­er­ary hand, giv­ing the reader an in­sight into the mind be­hind Auck­land in­sti­tu­tions De­pot and Best Ugly Bagels, as well as his val­ues. It’s a snap­shot of New Zealand’s re­cent food his­tory, with Brown’s con­tem­po­rary touch. Given there are im­pe­rial mea­sure­ments for each recipe, it’s likely this book is des­tined for over­seas, and if it’s de­signed to act for New Zealand’s food in a Lonely Planet fash­ion, the book achieves its goal in fine fash­ion.

to Rata’s fa­mous South­land cheese roll, plus there’s a bonus cock­tail in the mix too – The Grove’s in­trigu­ing ar­ti­choke ne­groni. New Zealand Res­tau­rant

Cook­book is es­sen­tially a road map for food-loving tourists and Ki­wis alike, as well as a handy guide for when you want to show off at din­ner par­ties. TH THE VEG­ETABLE CARO­LINE GRIF­FITHS & VICKI VALSAMIS, SMITH STREET BOOKS, H/B, $60 NOT EVEN THE

proud­est car­ni­vore could pick this book up and flick through the pages of sea­sonal pro­duce with­out sali­vat­ing. The au­thors, Aus­tralian food writ­ers Caro­line Grif­fiths and Vicki Valsamis, cham­pion the in­gre­di­ents too of­ten left play­ing sec­ond fid­dle to meat in recipes that are both en­tic­ing and ap­proach­able. The recipes, each la­belled with their sea­son­al­ity, will test read­ers’ per­ceived bounds in terms of com­bi­na­tions, and ex­cite with dishes such as pan-tossed turnips and nashi with stil­ton, or roast sweet potato with miso and gin­ger caramel. As bar­be­cue sea­son looms, this book pro­vides tasty al fresco fod­der too: bar­be­cued corn with chipo­tle mayo and queso or grilled leeks with agrodolce are just a cou­ple of recipes to sub in for sausages or steak. This book puts veg­eta­bles in the cen­tre of the plate and lets them speak for them­selves, prov­ing that they can more than hold their own. THOMAS HEATON NEW ZEALAND RES­TAU­RANT COOK­BOOK DE­LANEY MES, PEN­GUIN RAN­DOM HOUSE, P/B $50 KIWI FOOD WRITER

De­laney Mes takes the guess work and fuss out of try­ing to em­u­late the coun­try’s best dishes in this book, for which she has gath­ered recipes from our top chefs and restau­rants – the likes of Gi­ulio Sturla and Sid Sahrawat, Fleurs Place and Bistron­omy – and brought them into the home. Mes has deftly cho­sen some great spots around the coun­try that will pro­vide a chal­leng­ing chance to recre­ate some of your favourite dine-out dishes, from So­cial Kitchen’s flam­ing haloumi TH AT MY TA­BLE EAT UP NEW ZEALAND NIGELLA LAW­SON, PEN­GUIN RAN­DOM HOUSE, H/B, $60 AL BROWN, ALLEN & UNWIN, H/B, $65 NIGE’S LAT­EST Sponge drops, cin­na­mon oys­ters, cho­co­late eclairs and macadamia nut book is unashamedly sans theme and with­out much in the

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