Damien Pignolet: Salades; Tony Bilson: Fine Family Cooking; and Elizabeth David: At Elizabeth's Table

The bowl or the salad?

Christopher Menz


The cookery sections of bookshops are crammed with bright new titles, but how necessary are they? Inevitably, they are repetitive – how many ways are there to boil an egg, make stock, prepare a vinaigrette? – and presentation is often privileged over content. In such a crowded market, awash with flashy covers, glossy photography, and populist titles acclaiming the latest celebrity chef, or niche cuisine, how can we sort out the cream from the whey? How can we be confident that books will edify or endure? Gratifyingly, some publishers are reprinting older works, providing a balance between the new and inventive, the tried and trusted.

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Published in April 2011 no. 330
Christopher Menz

Christopher Menz

Christopher Menz is a former Director of the Art Gallery of South Australia (2005–10) and in 2011–12 was Acting Director of The Ian Potter Museum of Art, The University of Melbourne. Prior to these roles, he held curatorial positions at the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of South Australia, and the National Gallery of Victoria, specialising in decorative arts. He has published extensively on the decorative arts, notably the design work of William Morris, and is a regular contributor to ABR.

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