IT labels itself as a culinary guide, historical review and photographic journey. And it’s a true indulgence… a veritable feast… a mouth-watering moment.
I’m talking about “The Canberra Regional Cookbook” featuring more than 60 mouth-watering recipes author and foodie Bindy Welsh meticulously gathered and local chef Darren Perryman (now with Autolyse in Braddon) meticulously edited.
The Centenary is perfect timing for the release of this cookbook, not only because it toasts so many dishes served in some of our top eateries, but because it toasts some primary producers, a cooking school and even family favourites from Canberra residents, past and present. And although it’s probably a bit out there to mention December 25 before the end of the financial year (dare I?), “The Canberra Regional Cookbook” makes a great gift for foodies at all levels.
Bindy was born and bred in Canberra. She went to Girls Grammar, studied photography at the Canberra Institute of Technology, was a resident here for 30 years and even had her first child at John James – all before moving to regional Victoria. She was inspired to publish the book to “capture the vibrancy, energy and abundance” of Canberra and surrounding region, spicing matters up with a bit of history and many glorious photographs she took herself. It’s her third book, but her first for Canberra.
I sat with a cup of tea to explore “The Canberra Regional Cookbook” and next thing I knew an hour had gone by. It’s special to see familiar faces and read line-by-line through intriguing recipes and pore over the photos of this beautifully laid out and truly local publication.
Outside of the capital, Bindy features many of our regional best, including those you’d expect, such as Flint in the Vines (Murrumbateman) and Grazing (Gundaroo). Many long-standing eateries in Canberra hold a special presence, as do a couple that have moved on, which is no surprise given the long lead-time required for a publication of such high quality. Does it really matter though? Well, it doesn’t. The recipes and stories are as good as ever.
What I love most about the cookbook is how Bindy features local producers (she admits she wanted to include more), specialty smallgoods producers and a select few with strong presence at our best markets. No, that’s incorrect. What I love most are the recipes. Some are relatively simple to create if you source the right ingredients, others fairly easy going and some a bit more complex. But, hey, that’s the fun of it all.
The Canberra Regional Cookbook is available in hard copy through a range of bookstores and through participating businesses. Or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org; Copies are selling well and there is talk of a potential second reprint.