CHERISHED Australian cook and food educator Stephanie Alexander delighted foodies at the launch of her new book The Cook’s Apprentice in Currambine last week.
Alexander who was in town as part of the Dymock’s Joondalup’s Books at the Bars series visited the Margaret River region and surprised children from Palmyra Primary School to check out her Kitchen Garden program.
The book filled with tips, techniques and recipes is an essential teaching cookbook for anyone just starting out in the kitchen, including children, teens, adults leaving home for the first time or anyone learning to cook, according to Alexander.
“Being around other people I realised this issue of not being comfortable in the kitchen goes quite deeply and I guess my dream is to make sure everyone in Australia loves food as much as I do,” she said.
“I think the amount of joy and pleasure that good food has given me my entire life has been a sustaining pleasure and has made me healthy and well but much more importantly it has given me great joy and it makes me sad when so many people who don’t get that pleasure from food and are paralysed with anxiety which is much more common than you think that they don’t even try to work with fresh food.
“I wanted information to be clear non-terrifying but I wanted it to be accurate and enjoyable to read.
“This has 54 chapters and it’s simple in the way it approaches each ingredient and it has a concentrated effort in explaining both technique and ingredients.”
Alexander who said she was happy to be back in WA and had enjoyed a lovely visit to Margaret River’s Cape Lodge said she was particularly excited to see how her Kitchen Gardens were tracking in WA.
“The other hat I wear is the Kitchen Garden which has been 15 years of hard work, very enjoyable and very satisfying work with very young children and that’s been wonderful,” she said.
“I would like to see every school in Australia to do it and that’s got to be a political decision.
“We need more support and an understanding from communities and parents that this is important.
“It’s something that ought to be part of the curriculum.
“I’m very concerned about seeing a generation of adolescents and young adults growing up opting for convenience food at every opportunity and it’s such a sell out, such a poor substitute for beautiful fresh food which most Australians have access to everyday.”
The Cook’s Apprentice is out now.