Chefs of the Margaret River Region by Sue-Lyn Aldrian-Moyle and Lisa Hanley, Margaret River Press

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The Margaret River region of Western Australia is synonymous with big waves, breathtaking scenery and more wine and culinary choices than one lifetime permits.

Chefs of the Margaret River Region, authored by Lisa Hanley and co-authored and photographed by Sue-Lyn Aldrian-Moyle, pays homage to this small pocket of Australia that had earnt itself both a national and international reputation as a wine and fine-dining destination on every traveller’s must-see list.

In it they have compiled stories of 19 of the region’s highly-acclaimed chefs: what brought them to Margaret River, why they love the area, what inspires them, and what they love to cook. Each entry is then followed by a beautifully photographed and simply presented favourite recipe from each of the chefs, using fresh local produce and a lot of love.

Amongst those included in the book are Dany Angove from Leeuwin Estate, who whips up a mean Pemberton marron salad; Andrea Ilott from The Larder, who over the years has cooked for everyone from the Dalai Lama to the Rolling Stones, and in the book creates Blue Swimmer crab rice paper rolls; and Aaron Carr from Vasse Felix who roasts barramundi. Other recipes include crispy confit duck, slow-braised beef, roasted venison and cookies and cream parfait, just to name a few.

The book is divided up into entrées, mains and desserts and between each chef’s entry are pages of stunning photographs of both the landscape and the wildlife of the area. The end section includes recipes on making stocks, a list of local suppliers and a recommended pantry stock list.

Author Lisa Hanley is a qualified chef with over 25 years in the food and wine industry, including owning her own restaurants and a stint as restaurant and function manager at Watershed Premium Wines. Co-author and photographer Sue-Lyn Aldrian-Moyle’s work has taken her around the world, but coming back to the picturesque landscape that she loves is obvious in the beautiful way she has captured Margaret River. She also acknowledges the wonderful images contributed by Christopher Gurney and Jorg Imberger.

It is hard to categorise this book; recipe, photography, biography, coffee table? When I asked the publisher Caroline Wood her initial idea behind the book she said Margaret River Press wanted to take their readers through a culinary and picturesque journey of the spectacular region.

“We wanted to honour the highly talented men and women behind the swinging doors and to share the incredible beauty of the region. And we wanted people to take home a bit of Margaret River with them and share it with others,” she added.

If Margaret River is not already on your must-see list, it will be after you read this book!

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