Marie Claire ‘taste 101’

A Review by Franz Scheurer


Soft cover cookbooks don’t generally excite me, but the subtitles of ‘inspire – excite – delight’ are very apt. This is one of the best-looking cookbooks I have seen in a long time. Sue Fairlie-Cunninghame is in charge of the text and the creative and the photography by Con Poulos is at once terrific and different. The images are sharp, concise and stimulating, beautifully lit, perfectly focused and despite all the technical wizardry they don’t lose any of the desired impact. Art and techniques match beautifully.


The book is all about 101 ideas for the passionate cook, with sidebars of tips and interpretations that make it more like 300+ ideas. Taste 101 is divided into ‘eggs’, ‘bread’, ‘sides’, ‘leaves & potatoes’, ‘seafood’, ‘meat & poultry’, ‘butter, flour & sugar’ and finally ‘wine’ and a useful index and a list of stockists. The recipes are simple or complex, depending on what’s required for the dish, and they work. I’m most happy to see a Caesar Salad without chicken and to be able to make a rosemary flatbread yourself instead of buying the packaged variety is fabulous. I can’t wait for the Australian truffle season to start because the ‘potato & truffle pizza’ looks and sound divine and I just happen to have a baker’s oven in the back yard (not that the recipe call for a baker’s oven). Good fish & chips is a meal invented in heaven and the ‘fried fish in soda water batter’ on page 113 is easy to prepare and utterly sensual (and most restaurants use frozen chips, too!). You might want to try your hand at something as simple as the ‘bocconi of pancetta & mozzarella’, little Italian morsels that get the juices flowing or something more complex like the ‘nut cake with orange syrup’ for a perfect finish to a meal, point is: there’s something for every occasion.


At less then $30 this is a steal! It’s now available at your local newsagent. Get a copy before they’re all gone and invite all your friends for dinner!