Plenty of flavour from professional taster

March 13, 2010
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Cravat-A-Licious, by Matt Preston (Random House, RRP $42.99):

The Aussie version of the MasterChef television phenomenon bore little resemblance to its Brit inspiration (and our Kiwi version even less so) but it did prove incredibly entertaining on several levels.

It was fun to pick a favourite wannabe chef and back them throughout the competition, booing and hissing at the telly every time one of the other contenders did well (a bit like watching Formula 1 with spatulas instead of spoilers).

Then there were the judges, with their sage advice and steely gazes.

And, of course, there were Matt Preston’s cravats. They deserved their own listing in the credits.

Preston is often referred to as the world’s best food critic and it’s easy to see why: he writes with passion for his subject but without pretense. There’s humour, humility and, above all, honesty. This book is a collection of his writings and is delightful. His stories are part food adventure and part travel guide, making for a fascinating read that will appeal to a wide audience.

He also squeezes in some insightful interviews with some of the world’s best chefs and includes tips on creating the perfect cheese toastie and more.

A tasty read.

Jillian Allison-Aitken

I come from the other land down under, where men are men, and sheep are nervous. I'm a sub-editor and in the past have been a proof-reader, news editor and web editor. I am also an ex-columnist, and book and software reviewer for the local daily newspaper.I still read. A lot. And surf the web. Also a lot.You'll find a little about both of those pastimes here, and on By George.

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