World Chefs: New cookbook celebrates food from Sydney diaspora

Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:31am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - There's no such thing as too many home cooks for the six Jewish women from Sydney, Australia, who met weekly to chop, stir, bake, eat and debate the merits of more than 450 family recipes harvested from their diverse community.

"The Monday Morning Cooking Club" contains the 115 recipes tested and agreed upon by the self-described feisty sisterhood, which began meeting in 2006.

"Some recipes we knew we wanted in and we made them work; others we debated for hours and hours," said Lisa Goldberg, 49, who wrote the book along with Merelyn Frank Chalmers, Jaqui Israel, Lisa Goldberg, Lauren Fink, Natanya Eskin, and Paula Horwitz.

On a visit to the United States, Goldberg and Chalmers, 51, spoke about the Sydney diaspora, why practice makes perfect, and how they thought of calling their book "Start with an Onion."

Q: Why did you write this book?

Goldberg: We wanted to raise money for WIZO, the International Women's Zionist Organization that raises money for women and children in Israel. Our idea was to create a cookbook for charity. It's grown since.

Q: How did the Monday Morning Cooking Club (MMCC) come about?

Chalmers: We needed a theme and a structure for the book. We're all Jewish so we decided to find the very best cooks in the Sydney Jewish community. So we each called and emailed the best cooks each of us knew. Then we asked them for names. Eventually we had about 450 recipes that the six of us stood in the kitchen and tested. And the MMCC was born.   Continued...