2010 Australian MasterChef winner Adam Liaw, former Vogue and Cosmopolitan fashion editor turned restaurateur turned author Victoria Alexander and local Byron chef, food writer and restaurant reviewer, Belinda Jeffery are just a taste of the foodie line-up featuring at the Byron Bay Writers' Festival.
Festival Director Candida Baker advises that the foodie events are amongst the most popular and tickets go quickly.
"The Festival foodie events are always a sell out," says Baker. "Our Foodie Fodder lunch with Belinda Jeffery and Adam Liaw, hosted by Janella Purcell at the Italian at the Pacific restaurant, will be no exception. Guests will be treated to a great meal and a wonderful presentation by three consummate professionals in a setting that captures the essence of our laidback North Coast lifestyle."
Belinda Jeffery (The Country Cookbook: Seasonal Jottings and Recipes) is especially looking forward to the session Beautiful books – turning books into art, with Victoria Alexander (One) and Adam Liaw (Two Asian Kitchens) chaired by Victoria Cosford (Amore and Amaretti: A tale of love and food in Tuscany).
"There is almost a new genre of cookbook that is more like a work of art. Some of the books coming out now are just exquisite," says Jeffery. "I have worked with the brilliant photographer Rodney Weidland for over 25 years and often readers write to me just about their love of the images in my books."
Jeffery believes the session Eat My Words – Why We Love Food Books taps into another growing reader phenomenon. "There has been an increasing interest in food and cooking over the past 25 years, but now readers seem more inclined to take their cookbooks to bed to read, almost like a novel…a form of escape," she says. "Sometimes my readers confess that they don't even really cook. They just love reading about cooking, almost as though they are cooking vicariously by reading through their favourite chef's or cook's recipes."
The growth in the narrative cookbook is also an interesting development in the genre. "I have always loved cookbooks that tell stories," says Jeffery.
"Food is a part of life and weaving cooking into travel, history or just everyday life is a wonderful way to enjoy the process of sourcing, preparing, cooking and presenting food."
Baker believes the increase in the appeal of cookbooks is driven by many factors. "Cooking shows such as Masterchef have certainly encouraged people to get back to the kitchen, but a renewed focus on home cooking is also driven by economic pressures with people wanting to cook at home rather than eat out," Baker says. "However, overall I believe cook books continue to increase in popularity as there is something warm and appealing about creating wonderful meals in your own kitchen to share with friends and family."
Foodie Fodder, sponsored by Ferment, is being held at the Italian at the Pacific Beach, 12.00pm – 3.00pm Friday, August 5. Tickets are available now for $125.
To purchase Festival or event tickets or to view the full Festival program visit www.byronbaywritersfestival.com.au or call 1300 368 552.