Podcasts & Books

Cooking Up a Storm | Our Favourite Melbourne Cookbooks

By Iro Kotsimbos
30th Jul 2014

When it comes to dining in Melbourne, we are absolutely, unequivocably, 100% completely spoilt for choice. Restaurants, cafes, hole-in-the-wall diners – yep, there's an endless list of places to eat.

It seems our kitchens are just as spoilt, with many of Melbourne's best restaurants and cafes releasing cookbooks packed full of insider tips and tricks, meaning you can recreate your favourite dishes at home.

From starters, share plates and hearty mains, to sides, salads and the perfect dessert, get ready to channel your inner master chef with one of our favourite Melbourne cookbooks

La Tavola Della Famiglia | Olimpia Bortolotto

Do you have a hankering for a rich pappardelle pasta dish? Perhaps a sweet little apple tart to finish the night? Sounds like you need to get your hands on La Tavola Della Famiglia, the new Italian cookbook from Cecconi's matriarch Olimpia Bortolotto. Part memoir, part recipe book, La Tavola Della Famiglia gives you an insight into Cecconi's restaurant, home to some of Melbourne's best Italian food, plus a rundown of all the traditional recipes that Olimpia has cultivated over the years. Our favourites are the snapper and the duck ragu gnocchi, with the latter being the ultimate dish to woo that special someone on date night.

La Tavola Della Famiglia | $55, available at Cecconi's or online

Yallateef! | Marwa Makool

A collection of innovative yet super simple Middle Eastern recipes, Yallateef! is the creation of Marwa Makool, owner and chef at Murrumbeena's Oasis Bakery. The cookbook has been one of Marwa's passion projects, and includes everything from starters and salads, to mains and desserts. The recipes are all easy to recreate at home, and provide a modern, fresh and healthy spin on traditional Middle Eastern dishes – try the farro salad for lunch or the vegetarian okra for dinner. With the addition of the cookbook, Oasis has truly become a one-stop-shop for anything and everything to do with Middle Eastern cooking – visit for breakfast or lunch, stock up on all your groceries, and then head home to prepare one of the delicious meals in Yallateef! 

Yallateef! | $34.95, available at Oasis Bakery, at all good bookshops or online

Huxtabook | Daniel Wilson

With one of Melbourne's most unique menus, not to mention an epic wine list, Huxtable has long been one of our favourite restaurants in town. You can imagine then, how excited we were when chef Daniel Wilson released Huxtabook, a tome of recipes covering Huxtable's signature 'bites', 'sea', 'land', 'earth' and 'sweet' dishes. Seriously, the recipes in Huxtabook will make you drool - think rice flour-crusted oyster po' boy with sriracha mayo, rare sesame beef salad with lemongrass, lime and peanuts, and white chocolate pannacotta with salted caramel ganache and raspberries (warning: you may feel the need to lick the page). Want to wow your friends at your next dinner party? If so, make sure Huxtabook is your guide.

Huxtabook | $49.95, available at Huxtable, at all good bookshops and online

Sweet Greek: Simple Food & Sumptuous Feasts | Kathy Tsaples

No visit to Prahran Market is complete without stopping by Sweet Greek to stock up on traditional Greek pastries, dips, and of course, SWEETS! Kathy Tsaples' famed market stall has recently spawned a namesake cookbook, with Sweet Greek: Simple Food & Sumptuous Feasts delivering just that – simple, yet oh-so-flavoursome Greek food, perfect for every type of celebration, along with those quiet family dinners in-between. A celebration of Kathy's heritage, the Sweet Greek recipes were perfected over the years under the close tutelage of Kathy's mother, before being given a modern (but not too modern!) spin. Now us lucky folk have been let in on the secret and can get our Sweet Greek on at home – bring on the slow roasted lamb shoulder, the stuffed capsicums, and baklava!

Sweet Greek: Simple Food & Sumptuous Feasts | $39.99, available at Sweet Greek or via email

Hungry For That | Raph Rashid

Okay so Hungry For That, the debut cookbook from Beatbox Kitchen founder Raph Rashid (also the man behind Taco Truck and All Day Donuts), isn't released until September 1st, however we're already counting down the days! Showcasing Raph's huge passion for food alongside many of his favourite recipes, Hungry For That teaches you how to make all sorts of flavour-packed fast food from burgers and sliders inspired by trips to the US, to tacos and tantalising treats learnt on Mexico's Baja Peninsula. The team at Cooked.com.au, an online library dishing up infinite recipes, cookbooks and celebrity chef tips, caught up with Raph to chat about the making of Hungry For That – the behind the scenes clip makes us even more excited for the book's launch. Bring on September 1st!

Hungry For That | $39.95, available on Cooked on September 1st


Image Credits: Cecconi's - supplied, Oasis Bakery, Rice flour-crusted oyster po' boy with sriracha mayo from Huxtabook by Daniel Wilson, Sweet Greek - Booktopia, Hungry For That - supplied by Hardie Grant Books

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