You learn to cook so that you don't have to be a slave to recipes. You get what's in season and you know what to do with it.' –Julia Child 

About the book

Italian Coastal explores the west coast of Italy from Tuscany to the north coast of Sicily, where the land meets the Tyrrhenian Sea. It’s an interesting perspective, to view the country, its people and food, by geography, rather than the more usual habit of collating recipes by region or season. Thus, you see crostini recipes from Tuscany, Campania and Calabria rubbing shoulders, or should it be olive oils, with each other. From Lazio, a hearty pasta of aubergine, olives, pecorino and almonds sits next to a simple zucchini and basil spaghetti, which hails from the Amalfi Coast. In this way, the familiar and shared are seen and the differences highlighted.


The recipes “veer from the simple, frugal and ‘thrown together’ to an intense kind of cooking typical of much cucina povera (poor cooking): slow and designed to bring out the best of simple ingredients.” A breezy, summery feel permeates the pages, which is as it should be when faced with so many photographs of spectacular cliff top views and seaside promenades.


The dishes look eminently achievable, even for a beginner cook. But there’s enough to interest the experienced cook too. Silvana’s saffron fish risotto with red mullet ragu; baked aubergine and ricotta sformato; and ricotta, pear and hazelnut biscuit cake all look as though they’d require a certain level of patience and skill.


Italophiles will recognise much about Italy and Italian food in this book, but some they won’t, which is surely reason enough to add this to your bookshelf.

About the author

Amber Guinness is an English cook and food writer who lives in Florence, Italy. She was born in London but raised at Arniano, the Tuscan farmhouse her parents restored near Siena. She has a first class Masters degree in History and Italian from the University of Edinburgh, and has worked as a cook in both London and Italy. Amber's first book, A House Party in Tuscany, featured recipes and stories from her internationally acclaimed residential painting school at Arniano. Italian Coastal is her second book. Amber is married with a son.

April 6–8

Amber Guinness Sydney book tour

COOKBOOK LOVE // BOOK TOUR

About the book

Italian Coastal explores the west coast of Italy from Tuscany to the north coast of Sicily, where the land meets the Tyrrhenian Sea. It’s an interesting perspective, to view the country, its people and food, by geography, rather than the more usual habit of collating recipes by region or season. Thus, you see crostini recipes from Tuscany, Campania and Calabria rubbing shoulders, or should it be olive oils, with each other. From Lazio, a hearty pasta of aubergine, olives, pecorino and almonds sits next to a simple zucchini and basil spaghetti, which hails from the Amalfi Coast. In this way, the familiar and shared are seen and the differences highlighted.


The recipes “veer from the simple, frugal and ‘thrown together’ to an intense kind of cooking typical of much cucina povera (poor cooking): slow and designed to bring out the best of simple ingredients.” A breezy, summery feel permeates the pages, which is as it should be when faced with so many photographs of spectacular cliff top views and seaside promenades.


The dishes looks eminently achievable, even for a beginner cook. But there’s enough to interest the experienced cook too. Silvana’s saffron fish risotto with red mullet ragu; baked aubergine and ricotta sformato; and ricotta, pear and hazelnut biscuit cake all look as though they’d require a certain level of patience and skill.


Italophiles will recognise much about Italy and Italian food in this book, but some they won’t, which is surely reason enough to add this to your bookshelf.

About the author

Amber Guinness is an English cook and food writer who lives in Florence, Italy. She was born in London but raised in Arniano, the Tuscan farmhouse her parents restored near Siena. She studied history and Italian literature at the University of Edinburgh Italian Coastal expores the food of the regions on the west coat of Italy and has worked as a cook in both London and Italy. Amber's first book, A House Party in Tuscany, featured recipes and stories from her internationally acclaimed residential painting school at Arniano. Italian Coastal is her second book. Amber is married with a son.

April 6–8

Amber Guinness Sydney book tour

COOKBOOK LOVE // BOOK TOUR

Join Amber Guinness and host Mickey Robertson at her beautiful home, Glenmore House, 50 minutes from Sydney. As the last night of daylight saving, the evening will be softly lit, showing the garden in all its beauty.


There will be welcome drinks on arrival as well as time to explore this extraordinary garden (and popping your head into the Barn Shop to see what Mickey has in stock) before taking your seat in the Dairy to hear Amber talk about food and the making of her book. The Twilight Supper table will be set under the loggia. Dinner will be a light, two-course Italian menu cooked from the book.


Date Saturday, 6 April

Time 3.30pm to 7.30pm 

Location Glenmore House, Moores Way, Glenmore (directions can be found here)

Cost $175, including drink and canapé on arrival and a light, Italian-style supper. Ticket options allow you to pre-order Italian Coastal in your purchase. Copies of both of Amber's books will be available at the event.

COOKBOOK LOVE // BOOK TOUR

April 6

Twilight Supper at Glenmore House

Enjoy the last of the summer rays

Join Amber Guinness and host Mickey Robertson at her beautiful home, Glenmore House, 50 minutes from Sydney. As the last night of daylight saving, the evening will be softly lit, showing the garden in all its beauty.


There will be welcome drinks on arrival as well as time to explore this extraordinary garden (and popping your head into the Barn Shop to see what Mickey has in stock) before taking your seat in the Dairy to hear Amber talk about food and the making of her book. The Twilight Supper table will be set under the loggia. Dinner withh be a light, two-course Italian menu cooked from the book. , cooked from the book, 


Date Saturday, 6 April

Time 3.30pm to 7.30pm 

Location Glenmore House, Moores Way, Glenmore (directions can be found here)

Cost $175, including drink and canapé on arrival and a light, Italian-style supper. Ticket options allow you to pre-order Italian Coastal in your purchase. Copies of both of Amber's books will be available at the event.

April 6

Twilight Supper at Glenmore House

Enjoy the last of the summer rays

BOOK TOUR // TWILIGHT SUPPER

COOKBOOK LOVE // BOOK TOUR

April 7

Author talk

Amber in conversation. Make sure to bring a question

Meet Amber and hear all about her new book, Italian Coastal in this conversation with Food & Words' Barbara Sweeney. 


Date Sunday, 7 April

Time 10.30am to 11.30am, followed by refreshments and book signing
Location Double Bay Library, Level 1, 451 New South Head Road, Double Bay

Cost $25, includes Italian-inspired refreshments. Ticket options allow you to pre-order Italian Coastal in your purchase. Copies of both of Amber's books will be available at the event.

BOOK TOUR // AUTHOR TALK

April 7

Author talk

Amber in conversation

Meet Amber and hear all about her new book, Italian Coastal in this conversation with Food & Words' Barbara Sweeney. 


Date Sunday, 7 April

Time 10.30am to 11.30am, followed by refreshments and book signing
Location Double Bay Library, Level 1, 451 New South Head Road, Double Bay

Cost $25, includes Italian-inspired refreshments. Ticket options allow you to pre-order Italian Coastal in your purchase. Copies of both of Amber's books will be available at the event.

The mood? Languorous and easy 

Expect the glorious home-cooked food for which Sean's Bondi is known. Take in the view. Enjoy the other guests at the table. Chat to Amber about her book and life in Italy. Today has all the elements to make for a memorable Sunday lunch.


Date Sunday, 7 April

Time 3.30pm to 6.30pm
Location Sean's Bondi, 270 Campbell Parade, North Bondi
Cost $275, includes three-course set menu (which includes water and bread and butter), a drink on arrival, wine with the meal, service and other restaurant fees. 
Ticket options allow you to pre-order Italian Coastal in your purchase. Copies of both of Amber's books will be available at the event.

April 7

Sunday Lunch at Sean's Bondi

COOKBOOK LOVE // BOOK TOUR

The mood? Languorous and easy 

Expect the glorified home-cooked food for which Sean's Bondi is known. Take in the view. Enjoy the other guests at the table. Chat to Amber about her book and life in Italy. Today has all the elements to make for a memorable Sunday lunch.


Date Sunday, 7 April

Time 3.30pm to 6.30pm
Location Sean's Bondi, 270 Campbell Parade, North Bondi
Cost $275, includes three-course set menu (which includes water and bread and butter), a drink on arrival, wine with the meal, service and other restaurant fees. 
Ticket options allow you to pre-order Italian Coastal in your purchase. Copies of both of Amber's books will be available at the event.

April 7

Sunday Lunch at Sean's

BOOK TOUR // SUNDAY LUNCH

A gathering with nice bites to eat and some drinks

COOKBOOK LOVE // BOOK TOUR

April 8

Join Amber for Aperitivi

Relax and enjoy this intimate gathering being held in a private home in Elizabeth Bay. Wander into the kitchen to hear Amber talk about the food that's being prepared, take a seat in the living room to listen to her stories about learning to cook from her mother at Arniano, the family's Tuscan home where Amber co-hosts the residential Arniano Painting School, and the food of the Tyrrhenian Sea coastline, from Tuscany's La Maremma to the north of Sicily, the subject of the book.

Numbers to this event are strictly limited. Should you miss out, there will be a wait list and we encourage you to add your name to it.



Date Monday, 8 April
Time 5.30pm to 7.30pm
Location Elizabeth Bay Road, Elizabeth Bay (address provided one week out from the event)

Cost $110, includes small bites to eat and drinks

The mood? Languorous and easy 

The mood? Languorous and easy 

April 8

Join Amber for Aperitivi

Relax and enjoy this intimate gathering being held in a private home in Elizabeth Bay. Wander into the kitchen to hear Amber talk about the food that's being prepared, take a seat in the living room to listen to her stories about learning to cook from her mother at Arniano, the family's Tuscan home where Amber co-hosts the residential Arniano Painting School, and the food of the Tyrrhenian Sea coastline, from Tuscany's La Maremma to the north of Sicily, the subject of the book.

Numbers to this event are strictly limited. Should you miss out, there will be a wait list and we encourage you to add your name to it.



Date Monday, 8 April
Time 5.30pm to 7.30pm
Location Elizabeth Bay Road, Elizabeth Bay (address provided one week out from the event)

Cost $110, includes small bites to eat and drinks

BOOK TOUR // APERITIVI

$90

2pm-4pm

Explore your family's food memories in this intimate writing workshop. Held on a rose farm in central Victoria.

$180

6.30pm

Porcine

268 Oxford Street, Paddington 

March 9

The perfect scone

March 10

Food Memoir writing 

SUPPER CLUB // GATHERING

March 7

Supper Club

$70

10am –12noon

A declaration of love for cookbooks. Includes morning tea and a cookbook 'lucky dip' gift. Held on a rose farm in central Victoria.


$30

5pm-7.30pm

Three-week course

Feb 27, March 5, March 12

Double Bay Library

FREE

1pm-2.30pm

Monthly

Randwick Library, Level 1, Royal Randwick Shopping Centre, 73 Belmore Road, Randwick

March 10

Cookbook LOVE

February 27

Food writing course

RECIPE CLUB // GATHERING

March 14

Randwick Library

FOOD WRITING // A TASTER

$90

Scone making demonstration, plus scones and tea, and shopping old wares on a rose farm in central Victoria.

COOKING // SCONES 

COOKBOOK LOVE // TALK 

FOOD WRITING // FOOD MEMORIES

$90

2pm-4pm

Explore your family's food memories in this intimate writing workshop. Held on a rose farm in central Victoria.


$90

Morning and afternoon sessions 

Scone making demonstration, plus morning/afternoon tea on a rose farm in central Victoria.


March 9

The perfect scone

COOKING // SCONES 

$180

6.30pm

Porcine Bistro

Oxford Street, Paddington 

$90

2pm-4pm

Explore your family's food memories in this intimate writing workshop. Held on a rose farm in central Victoria.

$180

6.30pm

Porcine

Oxford Street, Paddington 

March 9

The perfect scone

March 10

Food Memoir writing 

SUPPER CLUB // GATHERING

March 7

Supper Club - Porcine Bistro

FOOD WRITING // FOOD MEMORIES

$70

10am –12noon

A declaration of love for cookbooks. Includes morning tea and a cookbook 'lucky dip' gift. Held on a rose farm in central Victoria.


$30

5pm-7.30pm

Three-week course

Feb 27, March 5, March 12

Double Bay Library

FREE

1pm-2.30pm

Monthly

March 10

Cookbook LOVE

February 27

Food writing course

RECIPE CLUB // GATHERING

March 14

Randwick Library

FOOD WRITING // A TASTER

$90

Morning and afternoon sessions 

Scone making demonstration, plus morning/afternoon tea on a rose farm in central Victoria.

COOKING // SCONES 

COOKBOOK LOVE // TALK 

Our first residential food memoir writing workshop is being held at the home of Jillie Arnott at Coolah Creek in central west NSW in late autumn, in May, 2024.


Jillie, an amazing country cook, and her husband Will are our hosts. Guests/students are invited to stay at the homestead for one, two or three nights. Or, you can travel in daily for the workshop, which runs from 10am–4pm on May 4–5.


Here's your chance to tackle that long-held dream to write your family food stories and recipes down for future generations to enjoy.


We're bound to spend as much time in the kitchen and around the dining table as we do writing – although you don't have to, there is a veranda chair with your name on it.

May  4–5

Food memoir writing 

FOOD WRITING // RESIDENTIAL WORKSHOP

We meet monthly at Randwick Library

Food has a magic power that gets everyone talking. We all have a favourite food memory or recipe to share, so why not join the fun at this monthly gathering where we'll chew the fat, swap recipes and compare notes on our favourite cookbooks. The recipe club provides fun for people interested in sharing recipes, cookbooks, talking and writing about food, talk cookbooks and writing about food, so why not bring your enthusiasm and love of food to the library. Everyone is welcome to come along.


Day Second Thursday of the month

Dates Mar 14, April 11, May 9, June 13, July 11, Aug 8, Sept 12, Oct 10, Nov 14, Dec 12

Time 1pm to 2pm 

Location Randwick Library, Level 1, Royal Randwick Shopping Centre, 73 Belmore Road, Randwick

Cost This is a FREE event

Join the Club

RECIPE CLUB

“Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”–Henry James

FOOD TALKS

Food as a means to interrogate and interpret.

In this talk, colonial Australian food academic Jacqui Newling presents the various ways she uses food to interrogate and interpret history for academic research and public history audiences. Food is more than what’s on the plate; it is imbued with cultural meaning.


She is joined by Russian author Anna Kharzeeva, who will talk about exploring family and social history through food: cooking, eating and writing about it.


The host for the evening is Barbara Sweeney.


Date Wednesday, 4 October 

Time 5pm to 6pm

Location State Library NSW, Macquarie Street, Sydney

Tickets This is FREE event

History Now: food history

Classes & Events

Classes & events

Scone, pastry and MUCH more

Let’s Bake is a social baking session where cooks of any level come together to bake, share knowledge, trial new recipes and enjoy time in the kitchen. A different menu of sweet and savoury items will be baked each week and, at the end of class, we’ll sit around the table, accompanied by a fresh brewed pot of tea, and tuck in. Recipes are a mix of new takes on old favourites, all taken from Barbara’s favourite cookbooks. They have been selected because they are simple enough to cook easily inside class time. The rather ambitious menu differs from week to week – and can be adapted to accommodate student requests. The focus is on learning how to make different pastries, scones and biscuits. 


Date Friday, 13 October to Friday, 3 November

Time 10am to 1pm

Location North Sydney Community Centre, Miller Street, North Sydney

Cost $200

Let's Bake

BAKING COURSE

SCONES CLASS

Join us in the kitchen to bake the perfect scone

Join Barbara Sweeney in this special scone making class where we'll all make a batch of scones using ingredients bought direct from farmers – yes, even the wheat – and cook recipes from different cookery writers’ recipe books, designed to showcase different methods of making scones, plain and fancy. Banter over a cup of tea about whether scones should be served with butter or cream, or both.


Date Friday, 24 November 

Time 10am to 1pm

Location North Sydney Community Centre, Miller Street, North Sydney

Booking $100

Scones & Afternoon Tea 

SCONES CLASS

How to bake the perfect scone

Join Barbara Sweeney in this special scone making class where we'll all make a batch of scones using ingredients bought direct from farmers – yes, even the wheat – and cook recipes from different cookery writers’ recipe books, designed to showcase different methods of making scones, plain and fancy. Banter over a cup of tea about whether scones should be served with butter or cream, or both.


Date Friday, 24 November 

Time 10am to 1pm

Location North Sydney Community Centre, Miller Street, North Sydney

Booking $100

Scones & Afternoon Tea 

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Photography credits

Pasta Vicki Bennison

Book stack Samantha Mackie 

COOKBOOK SALE

Good qaulity secondhand cookbooks for sale

The annual cookbook sale is our contribution to the circular economy in that we keep good cookbooks in circulation. When you buy a secondhand book you not only reduce waste, recycle and reuse, but you also get to enjoy the thrill of something 'new' — to you.


We collect and buy books through the year and always have a selection to suit every cook, from popular titles in excellent condition to well-thumbed classics. If you're rationalising your own cookbooks, and would like to donate them to the sale, please get in touch.


Date Saturday, 7 and 21 December 

Time 8am to 12 noon

Location Northside Produce Market, Ted Mack Civic Park, 200 Miller Street, North Sydney

Annual cookbook sale

“I just spent a wonderful rainy afternoon watching the talks, yet another thought provoking, fascinating and compelling collection of ideas and authors.”

Read about the speakers here

Three writers whose work ranges across Instagram and printed books talk about their experiences with both. Hear from cookery writers Belinda Jeffery (A Year of Sundays), Lucy Tweed (Every Night of the Week) and Emiko Davies (Torta dell Nonna).

What exactly is Australian food? Chef Ross Dobson, author of Australia, The Cookbook, along with fellow writers Paul Van Reyk (True to the Land, A History of Food in Australia) and Lee Tran Lam, freelance food writer & co-founder Diversity in Food Media and Editor of the anthology New Voices in Food take on the question in this panel.

Session 2

Read about the speakers here

FESTIVAL

Food & Words 2022

Tiny, but mighty personable, the Food & Words writers' festival turns 10 this year. To celebrate, we plan to serve cake. Other than that, we are committed to delivering a festival program that features some of the country's leading writers on food in an atmosphere that is both generous and hospitable. Read more on the Writers' Festival page or go straight to the booking page to purchase your ticket.


Date Sunday October 9

Time 10am-4pm

Location Enid Cook Room, Level 1, 405 Crown Street (above Surry Hills Library), Surry Hills

Cost $330 (plus booking fee)

The world's most intimate writers' festival

OUR PARTNERS

Coffee partner The Little Marionette 


Tea and tisanes partner Apotheca by Anthia 


Wine partner Lowe Family Wine Co.


Bookshop Potts Point Bookshop


Venue and food Martin Boetz, Cooks Shed

Food & Words seeks the best vittles

We are proud to work with

Food & Words Literary Event

TALKING

Join chef Martin Boetz from Cooks Shed and home cook and food writer Barbara Sweeney in this Zoom chat as they talk food, cooking and cookbooks. It's a #bloodylockdown project, only here as long as the Sydney lockdown lasts. Join the conversation. 

BYO. Tickets $11.

Every Sunday while lockdown lasts, 5pm 

The Sunday Session 

Food & Words Literary Event

PROJECT

Food & Words Literary Event

A storytelling session about food, books and cooking. Written and presented by Barbara Sweeney, it’s an amusing and thoughtful exploration of this publishing genre and its place in the world. Of particular interest is the handed-down, hand-written recipe book and their stories.

In development

Cookbook Love

Food & Words Literary Event

Responsible for our Food & Words poster illustration – copy to go here. 

Canberra artist

Meet Ella Phillips

In the spirit of reconciliation, we acknowledge the traditional custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

Food & Words produces food events with a literary bent

Writers’ festival

Author talks & dinners 

Book
launches

Cooking
& writing classes

Writing Courses