> Skip to content
  • Published: 21 March 2012
  • ISBN: 9781742534947
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
Categories:

A Cook's Life




A surprising, intimate and revealing insight into the perseverance and drive it took Stephanie Alexander to become an Australian culinary legend.

With The Cook's Companion front and centre in half a million kitchens, Stephanie Alexander is the very definition of a household name. Each day thousands turn to her 'food bible' for the most reliable recipes and advice. But before Stephanie Alexander penned a word for the emerging food media, let alone for The Cook's Companion, she had spent decades avidly documenting food experiences.

Shaped by her mother's dedication to good food and her father's love of reading, she trained as a librarian and all the while observed, assessed and re-created the dishes she loved. Her monthly university allowance rarely lasted more than a week – all spent on pan-fried flounder and chestnut Mont Blanc.

She was seduced over pain Poîlane while working as an au pair in Paris, and later over ackee and saltfish in London. In 1966, with no formal culinary training and a newborn baby, but brimming with confidence and sheer determination, she opened Jamaica House with her first husband. The personal toll was great and it was many years until she emerged on the restaurant scene again.

Stephanie's Restaurant would become part of Melbourne food folklore, permanently raising the bar for restaurant dining in Australia. At the time of its opening, in 1976, a salad to most people meant iceberg lettuce, no-one had heard of goat's cheese and ginger came in a tin. Over the next twenty-one years, in her quest for the sort of produce she had enjoyed while living and travelling in Europe, Stephanie championed small local suppliers or grew it herself.

Her indefatigable determination and single-minded vision have influenced – and sometimes intimidated – a generation of chefs, cooks and diners. And now her Kitchen Garden Foundation is inspiring tens of thousands of primary school children across Australia to grow and cook their own food.

A Cook's Life is a very personal account of one woman's uncompromising commitment to good food, and of how it shaped her life and changed the eating habits of a nation.

  • Published: 21 March 2012
  • ISBN: 9781742534947
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
Categories:

About the author

Stephanie Alexander

Stephanie Alexander AO is regarded as one of Australia's great food  educators. Her reputation has been earned through 30 years as an  owner-chef in several restaurants, as the author of 14 influential books  and for her groundbreaking work in creating the Stephanie Alexander  Garden Foundation. Everything she has achieved and worked towards has  been driven by her desire to break down anxieties about cooking, to  emphasise the beauty of produce fresh from the garden and to promote the  pleasures of sharing around a table. Her fifth book, The Cook's Companion,  is regarded as an Australian classic, and has sold over 500 000 copies.  in 2013, this monumental work, in response to the new technology, first  appeared as an easy-to-use digital app. In 2014 Stephanie became an  Officer of the Order of Australia in recognition of her work with the  Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation.She was named Victorian of  the Year in 2010 and, in 2012, appeared in the number one position on Crikey magazine's list of the most powerful people in Australian food. Her  strong belief is that the earlier children learn about food through  example and pleasurable hands-on experience, the better their food  choices will be throughout life.

Also by Stephanie Alexander

See all

Related titles