R10_0056I’m excited to say that Elements of Cooking has been published in Australia—I’ve never had a book published there, and am hoping somehow it might lead to travel downunder.  I hear only fantastic things about Australia in terms of food, wine, and chefs (Bourdain loves Australia), and I just sense the spirit of the place in terms of attitudes toward food and drink are much more sensible than those informed by the puritanical, neurotic, dysfunctional (but getting better!) American palate.

The Aussie version of the book actually feels more substantial with a thick embossed cover, not the glossy flapjacket in the American version.  I love the look and feel of this edition.

And I don’t know what this Gleebooks is, but I don’t really care when they write things like this:
"The Elements of Cooking is an opinionated reference work destined to stand among the great works of the kitchen. It is slim, clear and to the point: here are the things you need to know how to do, here are the key words of the language of food, and here are the absolute essentials that every great chef knows."

So that’s it.  I’m goin’—next chance I get I’m heading to Australia.

In the meantime, here are some popular Australian blogs I’m glad to know about (thanks Ed and Leena):

Tomato, food and drink in Melbourne by Ed Charles, freelance journalist
Leena Eats—Leena’s an American student and writer living in Australia
Last Appetite, by Melbourne writer and marketer Phil Lees
Elegant Sufficiency, by writer and editor Stephanie wood, in Sydney
At My Table, a man after the fat
The Gobbler, by a Tasmanian chef
Milk and Cookies, by JenJen in Sydney
Grab Your Fork, by Helen Yee in Sydney
Not Quite Nigella, more than just a Nigella fetish (but that too)

The Old Foodie, by a food history junkie


33 Wonderful responses to “Hello Australia!”

  • Nick, Melbourne

    It’s about bloody time! I’m sure that you’ll be entertained by many well known industry types but it’d be great to see you about. I’m sure that places like ‘Books for Cooks (Fitzroy)’ would love to have you along for a signing session (& I can stroll up the road from work & say g’day). The Melbourne food & wine festival (Feb-Mar) is a good time to be in Melbourne with lots of visiting chef’s and exposure to local produce & talent.
    September to late December is the best time to come for consistent (good) weather across the country.
    Cheers, hope to see you soon.

  • Bob delGrosso

    I’ve been following the haute end of the Australian food scene for about a year now and by my lights it’s deep. That augurs well for your book: believe it. Sorry, but I’ve run out of cliches.

  • The Yummy Mummy Cooks Gourmet

    Congratulations! What an exciting accomplishment, Michael.

    I feel I can speak with some authority here since I am the wife of an Aussie – Australia is beautiful, the people are fun, outgoing, and welcoming and the sky is nothing like you’ve ever seen. It slopes out so expansively that it feels like you can see the curve of the earth. Even the light is different.

    There are also Red Back Spiders, which are deadly and frightening and hairy Huntsmen Spiders, which lurk in corners and are the size of dinner plates. Oh! And most of the worlds most poisonous snakes are lurking just out in people’s backyards. They say “Crikey” a lot and “Do you reckon?” and God help you if you have to talk to my husband on the cell phone because you won’t understand a word he says…

    That said, whenever we are in Noosa in the North, we end up talking about “giving it all up and moving there” – it’s that great.

    I’ve also met some chefs and food writers there – Chef Bill Granger was especially lovely and he didn’t have to be since I chased him down the street. That’s another story…

    We will be there again in May for a few weeks, which means 24 hours in the air with 2 small children and nothing between us and madness but a Wiggles activity pack and an endless stream of Diego videos.

    On a more serious note – I am reading “Elements” now and have to say that even though I’m barely into the book, I have already learned to adjust some of my cooking techniques and learned I was doing some things flat out wrong. I’ve never really said anything like this to an author before, but I feel like I’m going to be a much better cook after reading your book. Thank you for that.

    Anyway, I have another lovely Australian blog for you. Her name is Lucy and she writes a beautifully-written, literate but cheeky food blog called “Nourish Me” http://www.nourish-me.blogspot.com. You should give it a whirl.

    Congratualtions again on Australia!


  • Lorraine E

    Thanks so much for the mention! Gleebooks is a bookshop in the suburb Glebe with a great range of books. Congratulations and hope to see you in Australia soon! If you’re planning a visit to Sydney, October is Good Food Month with lots of events and great weather (although any time is good for food really) 🙂

  • luis

    Forgive me Michael. Not up to speed on this thread.. will catch up I promise..
    Meantime, My issue is … The ducks in my Lake are hungry and eat everything I feed them.
    But does anyone know what I should be feeding ducks? IF it turns out to be something I can buy a huge sack of? so much the better. I have been trying to feed them some of the veggies I don’t eat and birdseed but I’d really like to know if there is something they would thrive on and I could buy them a huge amount of.
    thanks… wonder if Heath has his blog eyes on? Anyone familiar with wild ducks…anyone?
    Just tell me.
    thanks in advance.

  • Graeme

    I think a simple “Crikey!” sums things up. Funny to see all the Aussies coming out of the woodwork. I second coming during to Sydney in October. Good Food Month is huge and the outdoor Growers Market we have every month is massive and amazing.

    To say Sydney and Melbourne are food obsessed it just a wee bit of an understatement.

    If you time it right I might have a Prosciutto or Pancetta ready to go 🙂

  • French Laundry at Home

    Whoa. Did the comments just go wonky in italics all of a sudden, or did someone slip me a roofie? Or is it some sort of tribute to the land down under where toilets flush counter-clockwise instead of clockwise? Congrats on the news of Oz. That spine is gorgeous — I love embossed spines and no one does them anymore here in the States. We suck.

  • Stephanie

    Michael… was going to order you on Amazon, so very pleased to discover that Gleebooks has you in stock… will head there asap to grab a copy. Thanks for the mention. And, of course, happy to shower you with information/tips etc should you find your way to Sydney.

  • Helen Russell

    Gleebooks is that rare beast, an independent bookseller (ok, they have a couple outlets but I don’t think they’ve been eaten by a multinational yet)

    I too have had your book on my amazon list but will try to pull myself away from my keyboard and buy it ‘local’.

    (and you haven’t lived until you’ve woken up to see a huntsman spider on the pillow between you and your beloved)

  • Phil Lees

    Congratulations on Elements being published down here, and thanks for the mention. I’ve received nothing but joy from Charcuterie so I’ll have to buy a local copy. When you head to Melbourne, let me know.

  • mrs potato head

    Come on down! We would love to have you! Sydney in October is definitely the way to go. I have (literally) about 100 redback spiders in my (very suburban) backyard so I’ll keep them ready for you……….

    Thanks for the book, by the way! I love it. I’m clearing out space in my freezer so I can get cracking on the veal stock.

  • Claudia

    Well – g’day, Michael, and good on ya, mate! Man, I hope you get a book tour out of this, and a chance to see and enjoy the wonders of Oz. (My aunty is Australian, and I’ve been dying to go for years).

  • jacqueline

    Michael, I loved AB’s article on Oz and wrote about it here. Includes a link to a great tip for using up read wine (though I didn’t realize anyone ever had leftovers?) Also, beware the revolving restaurants.

    The LDG.

  • C

    I for one am not puritanical, just ask my cleavage. Having said that, I do love Canada.

  • Andrew Tseng

    Hey there,

    How about stopping by Los Angeles to do a few book signings on your way to the land down under?

  • Bob

    You gotta go to Tetsuya… the most mind-blowing meal I’ve ever had… (tho I’ve never hit anything else in the top 5 of whaddever magazine). The poached-in-olive-oil fish is riddiculously smooth… the toro lollipop thing I had is easily the most tasty teaspoon of *anything* I’ve ever ate. Literally made me weak in the knees.

    But if that isn’t in the plan, you MUST go to BBQ King… freaking awesome Chinese BBQ…

  • amber

    congratulations! fantastic news indeed. and yes, the australian version is much prettier than its american counterpart. sadness for us here in the states 🙁

  • amber

    congratulations! fantastic news indeed. and yes, the australian version is much prettier than its american counterpart. sadness for us here in the states 🙁

  • Susan

    Congratulations and Fantastic! You are my favorite food author. Elements of Cooking is a tour de force. I’m amazed at what I learn every time I pick it up. I’m not going through it page by page although I will at some point. But whenever I need a sage piece of advice I know it’s there in those pages. Took your veal stock advice and… wow… a wise man you are. Can’t wait to see what you do to follow up on Reach of a Chef.

  • Ed

    A month ago I was trying to buy The Elements and Carcuterie at Books for Cooks but it had sold out. I know a couple of local hot chefs highly recommend The Elements and I look forward to reviewing it. You should come down on tour or for the Food Festival next year – I’ll whizz an email to its creative director. Appologies again for my April 1 email cynacism…

  • The Gobbler

    Thanks very much for the link & hope some of your readers might find some interest in my varied posts from a Southern Tasmanian & World perspective
    The Gobbler

  • leena!

    Thanks for link, Michael! The new book looks great. If you come to Australia, you have to check out South Australia. Hands down the best place for food and wine in the country.

  • neil

    We await your visit with wide open arms. Do you think you might be able to sneak in some foie gras? It’s kind of banned over here. We can say it’s a transplant for some poor Aussie drinker whose done his own liver in. I’ll chill the Y’quem.

  • Jason

    I spent 6 months in Australia studying abroad in Melbourne and I can honestly say it was the great time of my life. The food is amazing and they such an amazing food market. I trying with all my might to make it back down there in this lifetime.

  • CC

    gleebooks is also renown for hosting great author signings and events.

    have your people call their people if you’re venturing down this way. can’t think of a better place in sydney, not sure which stores are hip in melbourne these days.

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  • Matt Cowgill

    I just stumbled across this post… I bought this book from Amazon, I didn’t even realise there was an Australian edition! Oh well, I’ll have to make do with my glossy-covered American edition.

    Great book!