the appetizer:

Though once dominated by British culinary tastes, Australian cuisine is now influenced by a variety of Mediterranean and Asian foods introduced by immigrant cultures. Many people living outside of Australia think of native Bush Tucker when they contemplate Australian food, but Southeast Asian, Greek, Lebanese and Italian influences are now more common.

A Taste of  Australia

A Taste of Australia
The Bather's Pavilion Cookbook

Australian cuisine is the next outpost on the culinary frontier. And one of the restaurants that stands out on this island continent is The Bather's Pavilion, where, according to the New York Times the "menu and wine list are as outstanding as the view."

Built in 1928, The Bather's Pavilion is a sun-drenched spot that was once a swimmer's changing shed. In 1988, former fashion designer and stylist Victoria Alexander and her husband bought the abandoned building. With Chef Genevieve Harris, they created the Bather's Pavilion Restaurant, located smack on Balmoral Beach (in Sydney). The restaurant and its cuisine has been universally praised by the local and international press.

Included in A Taste of Australia are seventy of the restaurant's more popular recipes divided into seven chapters. The Asian, Mediterranean, and Indian influences in Australian cuisine are delightfully incorporated in the restaurant's menu and in the book.

  • Morning Food—The recipe in this section will jazz up any breakfast with unusual offerings such as Spiced Baked Bananas, Black Rice Pudding (black rice is grown in Indonesia and the Philippines) and Creamed Vanilla Rice with Sultanas and Apricots.
  • Soups—Here, soups take on an Asian flair with Prawn, Coconut Milk and Coriander Soup, and Sour Chicken Broth.
  • Light Dishes—Composed of antipasto trays with a Mediterranean flair and substantial salads including a Salad of Spiced Lamb, Rice Vermicelli, and Holy (Thai) Basil.
  • Seafood—Australians live primarily on the coastline and enjoy a bounty of fresh seafood. Here are flavorful recipes that borrow from Indian cuisine for a Tandoori Marinated Snapper with Mint and Yoghurt Sauce or are Asian-inspired in a Steamed Salmon Fillets with Bok Choy and Black Vinegar Sauce.
  • Meat and Poultry—Try an unusual combination of Lamb with Deep-fried Eggplant and Cumin Lentils or a Tea and Spice Smoked Quails with Eggplant and Stir-fried Greens.
  • Desserts and Sweet Things—Australia's tropical fruits are used to an advantage here, making sweet concoctions such as Mango and Passionfruit Trifle, or the sophisticated and intoxicating Blackberry and Vodka Sorbet with Mixed Berries.
  • Extras—In this chapter, find resources such as recipes for stocks and how to engage in tea smoking as a method of partial cooking and flavoring.
  • Glossary—While the recipes may hail from another hemisphere, the ingredients are easy to find in most American supermarkets. This helpful section translates some of the more exotic sounding ingredients and provides substitutes when necessary.

Sumptuous color photography and illustrations of the Bather's Pavilion, its environs, and food not only capture the flavors of Australia but also the ambience of this magical locale.

About The Authors

Before joining the Bather's Pavilion in 1993, Genevieve Harris cooked at a number of acclaimed restaurants in Australia as well as at the luxurious Amankila Resort in Bali. She has been lauded as a "perfectionist" and as a chef of "incredible finesse and refinement" by the food media.

Victoria Alexander has a background in photographic styling and fashion design, and spent her early years as a fashion editor at Vogue Australia and Cosmopolitan magazine. She purchased The Bather's pavilion with her husband in 1988, realizing a life-long love of food.

Buy the Book!

A Taste of Australia: The Bather's Pavilion Cookbook
By Victoria Alexander and Genevieve Harris
Photographs by Rodney Weidland
Ten Speed Press
Cloth, $27.95
122 pages, full-color photography throughout
ISBN 0-89815-756-0
Reprinted with permission


Bush Tucker
Traditional Australian Recipes
Cookbook Profiles with Recipes
Australian Wine

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This page modified January 2007

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