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About Belinda Jeffery
Belinda has been recently called (mass circulation Women's Weekly Magazine) one of "the Queens of Australia's kitchens"!! She is widely known for her warm and engaging style of writing and for terrific recipes that are simple, accessible and which work every time. An often repeated phrase from her many followers is that "it's just like having Belinda standing next to me in my kitchen".
Belinda is to date the author of eight (8) fabulous illustrated cookbooks published by Penguin Random House (Lantern imprint) and a number of these are award-winning .. James Beard Foundation, Gourmand World Cookbook Awards and finalist in the International Culinary Professionals Awards (The Country Cookbook). A more detailed list is given below.
Belinda bailed out of university life early in the piece to become a true autodidact always in and around the food industry; ever learning; ever adding to her knowledge to be able ultimately to pass this on to her broad follower base.
Her background thus far has been in the kitchens of leading Sydney restaurants; learning with the much-loved chocolatiere (the late) Millie Sherman; food writer for various magazines; then herself Food Editor (10 years) of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine; the Food Presenter (6 years) of the award-winning lifestyle television programme Better Homes and Gardens at prime time on the Seven Network; and now the author of 8 beautiful illustrated cookbooks.
Belinda is also a teacher, mentor, food reviewer and ambassador for all good things to do with wholesome (organic if possible) and sustainable food.
Belinda herself reviews her cooking life this way .........
"From when I was a little girl I always knew that cooking was what I wanted to do. I used to tell my mum, "When I grow up I'm going to be a "cooka" (sic) in the kitchen." Little did I realise just how true those words would prove to be!
It's now many years ago but I still have such clear memories of those special times with my mum. I used to drag a little chair in beside her as she cooked, stand on it and insist on having my own bowl and spoon and then making my very own version of whatever she was cooking. She must have had infinite patience to cope with me constantly underfoot! But she was a wonderful mum, a terrific cook of simple food ... and I just loved pottering about with her.
When I was ten she bought for herself Margaret Fulton's first big cookbook but that turned out to be a real turning point for me as well. I would immerse myself in it during the week and on the weekends practice what I'd read! Frying eggs, cooking bacon, learning how to roast and ... most importantly for a little girl with a very sweet tooth (I'm told I could sniff out chocolate at 40 paces!) ... baking cakes and puddings.
All through my teens I continued to cook. I cooked when I was happy and I cooked when I was sad; I cooked when I was in love and as you might expect I cooked even more when I was out of love! I cooked to avoid studying and I cooked ... so it went on until finally the great day came when I actually started to do it for a living! First in restaurants, then writing for magazines, then onto teaching, television, radio and finally, and to me … most importantly … writing cookbooks.
I'd love to think that you use my books a bit like the way I cooked with my mum and to feel that I'm there beside you in the kitchen and that we are both sharing the special joy that comes from cooking together."
Over the years I have been fortunate to receive a number of awards for my work. These include:
* Mix & Bake ... Best Desserts Book in Australia, Gourmand World Cookbook Awards,
* Mix & Bake (Lantern Books) ... Highly Commended, Best Recipe Book over $36 Australian Food
Media Awards, 2008
* Belinda Jeffery’s Tried-and-True Recipes ... Joint-winner The James Beard Foundation Cookbook
Awards 2003 (New York) for Best Food Photography
* Belinda Jeffery’s Tried-and-True Recipes ... Highly Commended, Best Soft Cover Food-related
Cookbook over $30, Australian Food Media Awards
* The Country Cookbook ... the book that probably means the most to Belinda ...a 12 month
seasonal journal of a tree change/sea change, award winner
Gourmand World Cookbook Awards and finalist in the ICP Cookbook
* Desserts ... award winner Gourmand World Cookbook Awards
* Gold Ladle Award (1997) and Bronze Ladle Award (1999) in the biennial World Food Media
Awards for Best TV Food Show Segment within a Show ... (while for six years I was cooking
presenter on the Better Homes and Gardens TV Show.).
* During my association with Better Homes and Gardens on the Seven Network the show
collected a string of Australian television industry awards, including five TV Week Logies for
Most Popular Lifestyle Show, and two People’s Choice Awards.
My recipes are easy. They’re for the food I like to eat. Simple, fresh, full of flavour and great combinations and just a bit different. You certainly don't need any great cooking skills for them. The only things you need are to like food and like eating – just like me! The rest is simple.
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Books By Belinda Jeffery
Follow Belinda’s gentle guidance through recipes gathered from her cooking school on the Far North Coast of New South Wales, to those crafted from the harvests of local producers and her own garden, and others embellished with the imprint of personal memories.
Cooking from the heart to relish in the beauty of just-picked produce or to simply indulge a craving, Belinda imparts her recipes with both encouragement and genuine joy. From her reassuring instruction in the art of pastry and baking to her relaxed approach to everyday dishes made from the freshest ingredients, A Year of Sundays is a cookbook for all occasions, all kitchens and all cooks.
‘Delicious, seasonal recipes for the home cook accompanied by [Belinda's] warm commentary on food and life.’ Good Weekend