BEFORE she lost her battle with ovarian cancer in 2009, local businesswoman and publisher Zorana Grbic compiled “The Capital Cookbook”, a collective celebration of Canberra’s vibrant food culture and rich landscape.
Four years on, Zorana’s 26-year-old son Stefan has released the book’s sequel as a loving tribute to his mother.
Filled with more than 40 recipe contributions from local chefs alongside photography of Canberra’s iconic landscape, “The Capital Cookbook 2” is dedicated to Zorana and $2 from every sale will go towards ovarian cancer research.
Stefan, who works in Canberra’s hospitality industry and was also the landscape photographer for the book, says compiling the sequel was an “emotional” experience.
“Mum had put so much effort into the first book, and it did so well around Canberra, selling around 3000 copies, so I hope it can live up to the original,” Stefan says.
“When mum passed, I just felt I had to do something, and wanted to link this project with ovarian cancer research.”
Stefan rallied 26 of Canberra’s most celebrated chefs, including Courgette’s James Mussillon and Aubergine’s Ben Willis, to put forward recipe contributions in the book, giving Canberra foodies the chance to recreate their recipes dishes at home.
“The book really captures Canberra’s journey with food, and reminds us that our restaurant scene is a thriving component of the city’s social fabric,” Stefan says.
“I’ve made sure the recipes are varied at all levels, so everyone can do it.”
The book includes one of Zorana’s recipes – her much-loved osso bucco.
Stefan says donations from restaurants involved in the book have already amounted to $10,000 and he hopes to raise another $10,000 from sales to go directly towards ovarian cancer research.
“When mum told me she had stage three ovarian cancer, I was pretty shocked as it can strike without warning – the symptoms are things that can be considered normal such as bloating and cramps, and there isn’t any early detection method,” Stefan says.
“It really is a silent killer in that way, so I hope to raise as much [money] as possible.”
“Capital Cookbook 2” was published through Zorana’s company, Quicksand Publishing, which she founded in 2005.
“The Capital Cookbook 2” is available now at most bookstores or online at quicksandpublishing.com.au. The book will be launched at the Terrace of the National Library of Australia, 5pm, on October 17.