Buy a Cookbook for Christmas - they're easier to wrap

This Tuesday 10th December we’re staying open for some impromptu late night shopping for our VIP customers.

Join us between 6 and 9pm for:

  • 10% off most titles (and a few specials thrown in)
  • free giftwrap
  • A French wine & bubbles tasting courtesy of Randalls Imports
  • Tastes & nibbles courtesy of Savour & Grace
  • Some Christmas baking courtesy of Amanda

Wines from Randalls will be available for purchase for Christmas and Randall has promised to be ‘Santa’; expect some well priced treats!

We also have ice-cream vouchers from our wonderful new neighbours Gelato Messina to give away during the evening.

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The Agrarian Kitchen by Rodney DunnA few years ago, when former Australian Gourmet Traveller food editor Rodney Dunn moved from Sydney to Tasmania, he and his wife Severine set about transforming a c19th schoolhouse into a sustainable farm-based cooking school.

Nestled in a misty valley not far outside Hobart, The Agrarian Kitchen struck an instant chord with people seeking respite from fast-paced lives and a meaningful connection with the food we eat and the land that produces it.

Rodney and Severine’s acclaimed classes are about traditional techniques, hand made products and paddock to plate ingredients. Set on five acres, The Agrarian Kitchen is a working farm and incorporates an extensive vegetable garden, orchard, berry patch and herb garden, all grown using organic principles. Also in residence are rare-breed Wessex saddleback and Berkshire pigs, Barnevelder chickens, British Alpine and Toggenburg goats, a flock of geese and honeybees.

The Agrarian Kitchen grows and uses heirloom varieties of fruit, vegetables and rare breed animals in its cooking classes and also sources ingredients from local farmers, fishermen, gardeners and artisanal producers.

This collection of recipes from the phenomenally popular cooking school celebrates the simple pleasures of cooking and eating in tune with the seasons, and the rhythm of a life lived close to the earth.

Strong stunning photography; a blessedly simple real message about food to cook and a ‘lifestyle’ to die for are just a few of the treats in this book.

We love this book, but just don’t take our word for it: Kinokunyia has described it as ‘Cookbook of the Year’ and reviewers around Australia are in love with it, including Melbourne’s own Broadsheet.

To celebrate the launch of The Agrian Kitchen cookbook we’ve asked our dear friends Nicky Reimer and Adam Cash of Union Dining to put together a dinner drawn from the book with matched wines.

Please join us with Rodney & Severine to launch of book, explore the story of The Agrarian Kitchen and celebrate the bounty of paddock-to-plate cooking

Menu: 4 courses, drinks included
Price: $95 per person
When: 7.00pm Monday 25 November
Where: Union Dining 270-272 Swan St Richmond

To book: call Union Dining on (03) 9428 2988

If you are interested in coming, we suggest you book quickly as places are limited and we expect they will sell out fast.

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Chin Chin: the book

Chin Chin: the bookEvery now and then one of our chef customers tells us ‘I’m writing a cookbook!’  We’re always excited for them and the pending arrival of a good book, but when Benjamin Cooper told us he was writing a Chin Chin book we couldn’t help but get really excited.

Chin Chin, if you haven’t been, is one of the ‘it’ restaurants in Melbourne at the moment (and has been for a while and probably will be for quite a while to come).  Housed in an old warehouse building in Flinders Lane, slightly raw, urban and funky, with a noisy buzz  Chin Chin is as far removed as you could imagine from your neighbourhood Thai takeway, or a fine dining restaurant  Bold food that merges Sth East Asian food with a strong Thai backbone complimented by a great cocktail and bar list leaves no-one hungry or thirsty - and the place pumps, often until 1am with a buzz and vibe that is hard to explain.

Although highly regarded for the food, Chin Chin is almost as well known for its egalitarian no-booking policy (you have to wait even if you are Pink or Cadel Evans) its funky post-pop Asian artwork, manga cartoons & design and for its use of social media.

All of these elements shine through in what is a strong contender for self-published book of the year.  The visual elements - manga tells the story of the restaurant; strong photography by Adrian Lander tells the story of the food; clever graphics provide a neat quick guide to the recipes - all accurately tell the story of a visit to Chin Chin.

The recipes, to us, tell an even more fun story.  This is food to cook at home for yourself, for friends, for family, for fun!  Most recipes are accompanied by hints, tips and shortcuts; ‘hacks’ as Benjamin calls them and they are all ‘graded’ for heat on a ‘mild bunny’ to ‘hot bunny’s scale.  The food is broadly Thai/South East Asian.  The flavours are all authentic even if some of the dishes are not traditional in their final form.   Dishes are designed to be shared and accompanied by other dishes but many will work on their own with some plain rice and a beer.

We love the sheer fun and exuberance of this extrovert cookbook and restaurant and highly recommend a trip to your local Asian market for some good ingredients and a slab of beer - after you’ve bought the book of course!!

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