Tree to Table – Cooking with Australian Olive Oil
Tree to Table is a celebration of Australian olive oil in which the politics of production and the chemistry of food converge with a love of cooking and the aesthetics of eating.
There are over nine million olive trees growing in Australia, but they represent only 0.7 percent of the world’s olive industry. As the concept of traceability from farm to kitchen grows ever more important, the argument for local olive oil gathers serious weight.
Beyond the olive grove I invite you into our nineteenth-century homestead and discuss everything there is to know about Australian olive oil; descriptors, standards, chemistry, rancidity and storage; how olive oil should taste, how to choose the best olive oil, and its many uses.
Beautifully photographed by Simon Griffiths, Tree to Table also features an amazing array of recipes for bread, dips, infusions, vinaigrettes, soups, salads, seafood, risotto, pasta, meat and sweets. And many of Australia’s top chefs, including Tony Bilson, Kylie Kwong, Stephanie Alexander, Maggie Beer, and Damien Pignolet, share their ideas too.
Ten Thousand Acres
Ten Thousand Acres – A Love Story goes beyond the angers and arguments of debates on ecology and climate change to the deepest feelings we have for our farm and the wild landscape that embraces it. It goes beyond the crops and the cattle, high above the olive groves and the old homestead into the old stories hidden in its hundred hills and valleys.
We do not really own our farm, let alone the ancient landscape that rises above it. Ten Thousand Acres IS a love story – of how the place has come to own us. It is my book of endless discovery of the extraordinary riches that surround us, in the dark of night and the harshest days of drought. It is about the wild aviary of birds, the boundless zoo of native animals, the abundance of beauty, of trees, plants, grasses and botanic secrets.
I hope to make a contribution to the literature of ‘place’, the new awareness that Australians must have for all the Australia’s within our immense continent. In words and pictures, my book sets out to reveal the love we must have for the totality of the natural world – the respect for the land that is essential if we (and I mean all of us, ‘all creatures great and small’) are to have a hope of survival.
The second book, The River, began as the story of the Pages, the small stream that flows through Elmswood and can, in a sudden change of mood, rip the trees from its banks and smash the bridges that cross it.
That book, like a river, had a sudden change of course when I learned that a new coal mine was to be gouged upstream threatening the Pages’ survival. Then what I had to write became angry – the story of a political and environmental battle.
The Olive Grove
My first book, The Olive Grove, was a ‘sea change’ story – of my escape from the worlds of modelling, journalism and the TV studio into a new marriage and a new life.
Here I was learning of the drama of farming – of floods and droughts and the mustering of cattle – and of my struggle to plant and protect our first olive trees.