Good enough to read

By Fiona Ralph

We research the latest kitchen companions to hit bookstores.

TCB Punch from Recipes For a Good Time. Photo / Babiche Martens.
TCB Punch from Recipes For a Good Time. Photo / Babiche Martens.

Recipes for a Good Time, by Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz, Murdoch Books, $75.

If you don't buy this for the recipes (but really, why wouldn't you?) buy it for the fabulous rockabilly photos. Tattooed and greased-up, Milgate and Abrahanowicz are Sydney's rock and roll chefs, bringing to life their eateries Porteno, Bodega and Gardel's Bar in this hefty book. With an Argentinian barbecue bent, you can roast an entire pig, or simply recreate one of their signature cocktails.


Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka. Photo / Babiche Martens.
Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka. Photo / Babiche Martens.


Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka by Bree Hutchins, Murdoch Books, $59.99.

Photographed and written by one adventurous woman, venturing off the tourist trail to bring authentic Sri Lankan cooking to life, the beautiful landscapes and stories behind the recipes place this book as at home on the coffee table as in the kitchen. Try the okra, pumpkin or eggplant curries with fried cabbage for ultimate vegetarian inspiration.


Little and Friday - Celebrations. Photo / Babiche Martens.
Little and Friday - Celebrations. Photo / Babiche Martens.


Little and Friday - Celebrations by Kim Evans, Penguin, $45.

Takapuna's most famous baker is back with a sumptuous follow-up to Treats
from Little and Friday, offering more creations from her delightful Takapuna and Newmarket cafes. The 100-plus recipes here inspire food-filled social gatherings, with menus presented in sections for occasions such as a high tea, birthday lunch or wedding.


Bluebells Cakery. Photo / Babiche Martens.
Bluebells Cakery. Photo / Babiche Martens.


Bluebell's Cakery by Karla Goodwin, Random House, $49.99.

Bluebell's Cakery has been luring Auckland's foodie set to Hillsborough since Goodwin opened her kitchen last year, after learning her trade at London's Primrose Bakery. In her first book, she shares the shop's most popular recipes - tempting home baked treats such as lamingtons, biscuits, cupcakes and scones. Tips for tea parties and icing cakes mean readers can live the dream too.


A Perfect Day for a Picnic. Photo / Babiche Martens.
A Perfect Day for a Picnic. Photo / Babiche Martens.


A Perfect Day for a Picnic by Tori Finch, Ryland Peters & Small, $44.99.

Will your picnic be bohemian, luxe or teddy bear-themed? Whatever your style, this book provides the food and presentation ideas to bring a blanketed feast to life. Finch's extensive picnic know-how comes from growing up in the English countryside, as the daughter of an organic butcher.


Simply Good Food. Photo / Babiche Martens.
Simply Good Food. Photo / Babiche Martens.


Simply Good Food, by Neil Perry, Murdoch Books, $59.99.

The prominent Australian chef presents a collection of recipes based around simple, fresh produce. Mexican, Asian and Mediterranean banquet suggestions take this book from the usual to the interesting, while ideas such as the Vietnamese caramel sauce that graces humble chicken wings are bound to entice.


Vanilla Table. Photo / Babiche Martens.
Vanilla Table. Photo / Babiche Martens.


Vanilla Table by Natasha MacAller, Bateman, $59.99.

The tempting Vanilla Table features MacAller's many takes on the fragrant vanilla pod, alongside contributions from 32 international chefs, including New Zealand's Peter Gordon and Al Brown. Inspired by the author's visit to Heilala Foundation's vanilla plantation in Tonga, some royalties will go towards their work in promoting education and health on the island of Vava'u.


Viva is delighted to have three copies of Vanilla Table to give away. To enter click here


- VIVA

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