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MasterChef Australia – The Series 1 winner’s cook book

August 14, 2010

I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about the imminent arrival of a book. I was almost in tears when it finally came. I’m not overly sure why, it’s only a cook book as Craig told me. But it isn’t! This is the dream of a woman I’d been watching on TV for months. A woman I’d come to know, like and admire. A mum who loved to feed her family good food and was genuninely thrilled at all the amazing experiences she was having. It’s the first cook book by Julie Goodwin, the first Australian MasterChef. And it was worth waiting for!

As soon as Julie talked about her cook book idea on the show I was smitten. A cook book with her recipes but also a chapter at the end for your own recipes and stories. I’m actually in the process of putting together my own family cook book (more about that another time) but I loved the thought of adding recipes to Julie’s book.

As I’m not the cleanest or tidiest of cooks I have to say I was a little let down by the material binding on the book. I just know that is going to get covered in all kinds of crap the moment I take it into the kitchen but for now, whilst I’m going through it sticking post its on my favourite recipes it’s still pristine. I’m not keen on the front photo either – it makes her look a bit dim & it’s not the usual Julie grin that won me over during the show. (I have to admit now though that although I loved Julie & wasn’t entirely bothered who won I was a bit gutted that Poh didn’t win. I was totally gutted that Justine didn’t get to the final either – robbed!)

The recipes though are lovely. I think they’re probably mainly aimed at more novice enthusiasts like me rather than serious cooks but there is a good mix of difficulties. I always like to have a nosy at other people’s spag bol recipes because I think it really tells you something about the person – adding red wine? slightly snooty. Slow cooked ragu for hours? relaxed. Teeny tiny chopped up carrots/celery/onions? too much time on their hands. Mixture of all three? Show off. Julie’s may be slow cooked for hours but it just a basic recipe which shows me she’s no nonsense & sensible. I have no idea where I get this shit from by the way, just the way my mind works on long commutes to work I think!

It’s handily separated into sections, including Feeding the Multitudes (family recipes), Special occasion dinners, Sweet treats & my personal favourite – Rainy day cooking, lots of chutneys, jams and pickles. I’m gathering a whole load of recipes & trying them out in the next month so I can decide what I’m making for Christmas presents. Oh yes, this year we’re going home made & cheap! The red onion jam is definitely going to be a winner I can tell already.

Like I’ve said Julie’s recipes are a mix of difficulties. I’ll enjoy the challenge of making orange syrup cake with white chocolate and yoghurt ganache (probably a walk in the park for some but for me it’s challenging!), passionfruit shortbread, twice baked three cheese souffle and passionfruit puddle pie (inspired by a disaster on the show) but I’ll also enjoy the simplicity of pikelets, crumbed cutlets, potato rosti and slow roasted pork belly with cider braised cabbage (the first dish I’ll be trying).  There’s also a Christmas section with the most delicious looking ice cream pudding that MUST be on my table come Christmas day.

The photos are nice too – pictures of Julie and her family interspersed with vintage illustrations, stories and quotes from friends and family and very pretty food shots. To be honest though there’s very little I wouldn’t have liked about this book given the months watching her on TV. If you are a novice cook and enjoyed the show then you will love this book. Proper foodies may find it a little too simple for them but the recipes are all lovely. I would heartily recommend this to anyone. Baking Mad Mama – move it up your wish list! 

Buy it on Amazon here. No, this isn’t a sponsored post, I just am that enthusiastic about this book!

14 Comments leave one →
  1. August 14, 2010 6:00 pm

    Thanks so much for doing a review! It sounds like such a wonderful book, and more than lives up to the expectations provided when she pitched it on the show by the sounds of it. It’s on my amazon list and I have just been paid so think I’ll treat myself, I particularly want to give that pork belly dish a go!

    • notsuchayummymummy permalink*
      August 23, 2010 7:48 am

      I’ve not had chance to try it yet so let me know if you do & what it’s like. My husband loves pork belly but I’ve never cooked it & would love to.

  2. August 15, 2010 7:25 pm

    I collect cook books like other women collect shoes and handbags. I love them, I covet them, I worship them, I gaze lovingly at them…. so I can completley understand your excitement. Will definitely be having a peek! Thanks for a great review.

    • notsuchayummymummy permalink*
      August 23, 2010 7:48 am

      Oh I love cookbooks too! I think I may be sated for a couple of weeks now but I do have my eye on a chutney and jam book that’s begging my to buy it!

  3. August 22, 2010 11:32 pm

    This book is on my Amazon wishlist and yours is a great review of it. I cried when Julie explained to the panel about her dreams for her book and the blank last page. (oh and if she hadn’t have won, I wanted beardy man who used beer in his food to win – was his name Chris?)

    • notsuchayummymummy permalink*
      August 23, 2010 7:47 am

      It was Chris! I thought he was great too. I might Google him, see what he’s up to. They’re down to the final couple of weeks now on Good Food. Even though I know who wins I’m loving watching it again!
      Glad you like the review. The book is amazing.

      • August 23, 2010 8:37 am

        Yeah – I think we’ve spoken about this before LOL! I need to see if it’s on at a favourable time for me.

  4. Vanita Hecker permalink
    November 16, 2010 11:59 am

    Monday 15 November 2010 we saw the final of Master Chef Australia here in South Africa and we were all glued to the TV and routing for you all the way………….What a fantastic show we cant wait for the next Australian Master Chef

  5. November 17, 2010 1:03 pm

    I saw the final in Sout Africa and was glad you have won. You brought tears of joy. When your recipe book is in South Africa I will buy it.
    Thanks for Julie

  6. Vanita Hecker permalink
    November 21, 2010 4:20 pm

    I am lucky I have a daughter living in Australia and she has purchased Julie Goodwins book and will send the book home with her in laws who are with them on holiday……cant wait to read through Julies book

  7. Charlene Naidoo permalink
    November 22, 2010 5:47 pm

    Congratulations to Julie, however i do not believe that she deserved to win because she had an unfair advantage in that the judges tasted her sorbet before they should have. at this time they had pointed out to Julie that the sorbet was ‘grainy’. she had the oppportunity to correct herself. it is in this regard that i do not believe that she deserved to win.

  8. Melanie Allatt permalink
    December 2, 2010 3:17 pm

    It took a while but i got the book for my birthday in September, it’s great we are a family of 4 adults and julie cooks like i do the belly pork is spot on. this book is worth getting even if it is only to do the slow cooked pork dish

  9. kris permalink
    June 20, 2011 11:13 pm

    The cookbook was nice for my family, but for a MASTER chef, I don’t think so. They should change it from MasterChef to FamilyChef. But, the marketing really works. I need to buy 5 books to make someone happy.


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