Review: A-Z of Australian Animals – Jennifer Cossins

A-Z of Australian Animals

The A –Z of Australian Animals

Jennifer Cossins

Hachette Australia


ISBN: 9780734418586




From the award-winning creator of A-Z of Endangered Animals comes a stunning non-fiction picture book for boys and girls with a love of animals and a thirst for all things encyclopaedic. This exquisite full-colour picture book is packed with interesting facts and is perfect for young conservationists and students with a keen interest in the world around us.


On this expedition through the alphabet, you will encounter some of the Australia’s rare and enchanting animals, from the gorgeous azure kingfisher and the sleepy koala, to the shy numbat and the friendly zebra finch.


Come on an illustrated journey through Australia’s unique wildlife with Tasmanian artist Jennifer Cossins.



My View:

Delightful! This is a beautifully detailed, gorgeously illustrated book that children, young and old will adore. Buy for your grandchildren, children or overseas friends and family – all will be impressed.


Post Script: Organum – Peter Gilmore



The Food of Peter Gilmore

Peter Gilmore

Murdoch Books

ISBN: 9781743368633



Capturing the essence of world-renowned chef Peter Gilmore’s food: nature, texture, intensity, purity.

While there is a layered complexity to world-renowned chef Peter Gilmore’s ethereal – yet grounded – cuisine, his philosophy of cooking is relatively simple. Just four elements are required to create perfect unison in a dish: nature, texture, intensity and purity.


In this book, Peter invites the reader to share in his private obsession with nature – when not in the kitchen at Sydney’s Quay restaurant, he is working in his experimental garden where he grows a huge array of edible plant species. Each component of a plant, from sweet, earthy roots to bitter fronds and fragrant blossoms, is potentially destined for inclusion in one of the 40 exquisite dishes featured here. Peter also introduces us to the many influences on his cooking, and to the people who grow, catch and source key ingredients. Images include intensely beautiful food and ingredient shots, as well as producers and produce photographed on location.


Author bio:

Peter Gilmore is executive chef of the three-hatted Quay restaurant in Sydney, which appeared on the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for five years in a row. Peter’s first cookbook, Quay: Food Inspired by Nature, published in 2010, showcased his nature-based cuisine, organic presentation and the fine dining experience at Quay. He is also executive chef at Bennelong restaurant at the The Sydney Opera House.



My View:

This book must be the most gorgeous work of art I have come across in all the time I have been reviewing! I just want to have these images enlarged and on my wall – divine! Just look at the cover and you will get an idea of the stunning artwork inside.


My favourite images – there are so many – but a few do stand out – an evocative colour photograph of the coast line/sea/ reeds  and then on the opposite page the same image in black and white – stunning! (This technique of contrasting is very effective and is used a few times in the book)  And a fabulous picture of Snowberries (native to Tasmania).  And…so many others.


Nature Texture Intensity Purity these are the principles and elements that underpin Peter Gilmore creations – for creations they are. Clean crisp intense colours and flavours sing in harmony with the textual precision of the finished plate – this is a unique display of the natural!  I would love to eat a meal prepared by this chef!


The book also introduces us to the growers/producers//harvesters of some of the key ingredients in this remarkable book. Passion is evident.


“Although the recipes are detailed they are direct from the Quay kitchen and unmodified for domestic use, so if you are cooking from this book in a home kitchen you may find cooking times vary depending on the oven or cooktop you are using. Commercial equipment is a little more powerful.” (p. 276)


This book would make an excellent gift for the food lover in your life; beautifully presented, (there is a hard cover version available too), this edible art is a feast for the senses, great for the coffee table or for those who would like to stretch their cooking skills (a list of important ingredients and where to purchase is included at the back of the book and there is a companion app for iPad available; where Peter Gilmore leads you through the creation of eight of his remarkable recipes and provides insight into the principles and inspiration for his creations.)