Tuesday, February 2, 2010
We made it - Donna Hay magazine under the spotlight
Donna Hay is one of my original cooking inspirations. I loved her stylish and simple cooking that first appeared in Marie Claire magazine in the 1990s. Easy-to-obtain ingredients, simple techniques and delicious food stylishly presented on white plates - it all added up to restaurant-style food that could be cooked and presented by home cooks.
I have all Donna's early cookbooks - Dining, Cooking, Food Fast, Flavours - and I was one of the first 50 subscribers when she launched her magazine (I know this because I received an Alessi cheese grater, which was offered to the first 50 people to subscribe). I've never missed an issue and regularly refer back to the old issues to make tried-and-tested favourites, or to get new inspiration. The photography is excellent: not only are the dishes beautifully presented and photographed but many of the features tell a story - perhaps an autumn picnic in the country or a summer beach holiday - and this adds to the overall charm - you can just imagine yourself undertaking such glamourous holidays and effortlessly producing culinary masterpieces to wow your family and friends.
The latest issue - Feb/March 2010, issue 49 "summer" - is the choice for this month's "We Made It" challenge, where Suzie from Munch+Nibble and I select a food magazine and try to cook from it as much as we can. There is lots of inspiration this month - salads, fruit desserts, tomato dishes, a Fast 50 feature with speedy dinner ideas for weeknights and a lovely tropical island feast photographed in the Cook Islands. I'm looking forward to trying out many of the dishes!