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For the Love of Food

Subtitled 'stories and recipes from extraordinary Tasmanians', this alone would be enough to make me want to pick up this book in a bookshop.

But then, I have visited Tasmania often and am an unabashed fan of its produce. So, too, is Helen Hayward who currently lives in Hobart. Her life and work has taken her all around the world, though. Adelaide, London, Melbourne have each been home for her and she has packed a remarkable set of achievements into her life this far: books and articles, a PhD in psychology and literature, and a family.

Now, she has turned her attention to her neighbours in the sparkling island she currently calls home. 

For the Love of Food is a collection of stories and recipes from 41 Tasmanian food professionals  - farmers, restaurateurs, growers, butchers, cheesemongers and more. Hayward tells their stories and charts their journeys which brought them to Tasmania and a place of influence in the island-state's growing and maturing cuisine which has shaped its place as a world culinary destination.

These stories took the author to every part of Tasmania and the contents range from curating feasts at the world-renowned MONA, to teaching the next generation about sustainability and nutrition. Each interviewee also contributed a favourite recipe, including Matthew Evans' 2-4-6-8 cake, the first he learned to bake, and the favourite dish of cheesemaker Joe Gretschmann: his wife, Antonia's, fried haloumi with polenta.

As fresh and natural as the state in which all these people live and work, this book is as much a compelling slice of social history as it is a valuable cook book filled with recipes that are already family favourites - but which, quite probably, are about to become yours too.


For the Love of Food, by Helen Hayward, published by Explore Australia, 2015, hardcover, rrp A49.95.

- reviewed by Sally Hammond


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