I love books! As a student I worked in Exclusive Books in Sunnypark and when there were no customers in the shop I would page through the many beautiful books and wish I could afford them all! My favourite books then were the cookbooks, something in me was always drawn to that shelf. I always wanted to be a chef even at school, but somehow life decided to make a different turn with me before I could get to being a chef. But, paging through those beautiful cookbooks, which I read like story books, just confirmed deep down for me what I want to be one day when I am all grown up.
However, I first had to make a detour through the world of teaching Public Relations and Writing for the Communications Industry. Followed by a 12 year career as a graphic designer and at that point I appreciated the design and layout more than the actual recipes. Just before my 40th birthday I went on holiday to India and in Madurai I visited and old Hindu palm reader. He foretold many things, even a career change a few months later and initially I didn’t belief a word he said, but it turned out most of what he predicted has manifested so far. The greatest of them all was the career change he showed me on my hand a few months after I turned 40.
I am turning soon 45 and the old gentleman foretold that I would take until my 45th birthday to learn my new trade and the industry. I followed short courses here and there, but time and money lacks for a long protracted chef’s course, so 90% of what I know is self taught. However, I have money for books and I go less for big names like Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson and more for what the book inside has to offer in terms of advice, useful tips as I had to learn a lot at a very late stage in my life. But what a journey it has been so far and I am not regretting one moment of it. I love using fresh and local ingredients, focusing on great and strong flavours and above all recipes had to be easy and inventive. The 10 books on my list encapsulate for me the essence of my culinary journey and I hope they will inspire you as well.