Listen: Food stylist and cookbook author Jacob Leung chats to Laura Bennett. Above: Jacob Leung.
If you need a last-minute gift for your favourite foodie – or wannabe foodie – there’s no shortage of fresh new cookbooks available for all kinds of niche markets. Here are two very special examples.
The Millennial-Friendly Cookbook
Let’s start young: Jacob Leung is a high voltage, 27-year-old food stylist from Sydney’s North Shore, who’s just released a cookbook aimed at millennials. By day Jacob styles food for companies like ALDI and Woolworths; by night he’s been cooking up his stunning, image-rich debut cookbook, to help 20-somethings do better in the kitchen.
They’re the generation often accused of having switched off their brains around food and having learnt no cooking skills—and Jacob wants to change that.
He believes social media and celebrity cooking shows have actually been detrimental for young people; they can make the art of cooking seem all too hard and drive them away from the kitchen.
“So many people today have become intimidated by cooking and opt to pay (a lot!) for takeaway meals,” he said. “People feel that cooking is time consuming, expensive and messy – all this is a lie! This book will ensure you are upskilled to save time, money and mess.”
His 200-page hardcover book, simply titled Jacob Food Cookbook, is less a stuffy collection instructions and more one big dinner-party conversation. Recipes are interspersed with quips and pop-culture references designed to make the kitchen experience fun and relatable for his generation.
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His recipes are as diverse and quirky as they are delicious, with names like Savoury Toffee Camembert, Pan Fried Scallops with Pea Puree, and Potted Tiramisu.
The book is available through jacobleung.com.au.
The Disability-Friendly Cookbook
Another demographic often shut out of the world of cooking, are people with disabilities.
Dietitian Charity Spalding learn about this problem through a friend with a significant disability, and was inspired to team up with food writer Jennifer Richards to create a “no-chop” cookbook. It’s called Easy Healthy Tasty: Simple recipes that anyone can cook.
It not only focusses on recipes that don’t require the use of a knife, but also contains advice on nutrition, shopping and even texture modification tips to suit people with mild to moderate physical or intellectual disabilities.
Recipes include classics like Bircher Muesli, Tandoori Chicken, Baked Salmon and Spaghetti Bol, as well as easy desserts including Apple and Raspberry Crumble, and even refreshing drink recipes.
The book was made possible through a FundAbility from Northcott and the NSW Department of Community Services, and is available as an Ebook or paperback through www.easyhealthytasty.com.