According to playwright Noëlle Janaczewska, cooking just might be Australia’s favourite sport. Complete with star players, teams of highly trained professionals, enthusiastic amateurs, and masses of spectators. TV food programs proliferate; Nigella and Jamie are household names; all of us eat and most of us cook. But how do you approach it? Did you learn it at your mother’s knee, do you avoid it, embrace it, enjoy it or find it a chore? And what part might cookbooks play in the whole exercise?
My Life in Cookbooks blends cultural features, interviews, quotations, soundscapes, music, humour, and philosophical reflection with an essayistic personal voice. Although it acknowledges our fascination with phenomena like MasterChef and Jamie’s 30–Minute Meals (the fastest–selling non-fiction book of all time, apparently), it charts an altogether more idiosyncratic and unexpected course. It interrogates the stories behind our cookbooks to explore the associations and the emotions they arouse in us.