Comments and reviews


Here’s what reviewers have to say about A Timeline of Australian Food: from mutton to MasterChef.

Sydney Daily Telegraph: “…fabulous illustrated stroll through the history of our dining habits…A fun, delicious and nostalgic journey.”

Books + Publishing: “…a worthy and useful addition to the small but growing canon of Australian food history writing…”

Good Weekend: “…a crisp, informed, sometimes ironic account: part trip down memory lane, part national history reflected in what we ate and eat. And always entertaining.” 10 cookbooks to put on your Christmas wish list This is the only book in my line-up of 10 that doesn’t contain recipes but I’m including it because it’s a fun book that shows how our eating and drinking habits, the way we shop and our food production methods have evolved in Australia…”


Inside History Magazine: “Now here’s some food for thought. Ever wondered how Tim Tams got their name? Did you know Australia’s first commercial olive oil was produced in a prison? And why were revolving restaurants so popular?”

Melbourne Herald Sun: “Polly Waffles, IXL jam, Leggo’s pickles, Aeroplane Jelly and Darrell Lea softeating licorice are some homegrown treats dripping in nostalgia. In this extract from her new book A Timeline of Australian Food, Jan O’Connell highlights some other Aussie gastronomic obsessions through the years.”

Good Food (Canberra Times, The Age, Sydney Morning Herald): 15 things you probably didn’t know about Australian food. (Edited extract from the book.)

Hobart Mercury: “Browsing the shop at the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum at Huskisson
on the NSW south coast I happened upon A Timeline of Australian Food and bought it. That was entertainment covered for the train, airport wait, and plane home….”


Hawthorn Historical Society. On Saturday 21 October 2017 I talked to the Hawthorn Historical Society about some of the characters who helped shape Australia’s food history: Australian food heroes if you like. You can see the pictures and read something approximating the text of the speech here.

Book Launch – Books for Cooks The launch of A Timeline of Australian Food at Books for Cooks at the Queen Victoria Market on December 5 2017 took the form of a Q&A and there were even mini pie floaters to eat.

University of the Third Age (U3A) Deepdene  I gave a talk at U3A as part of their history and culture program on 12 February 2018. The topic was Australian food history from mutton to MasterChef – a lot to cover in an hour or so.  It turned out to be a gallop rather than a stroll through the decades. You can read the text (or the gist of it) here.


ABC Overnights  Would I like to get up at 3am to talk about fast food for an hour or so?  Of course. Nothing could make me happier. Yawn.

BroadsheetSomehow I’ve become an authority on chicken parmigiana.  Broadsheet quoted me in their article and I also did two radio gigs on the ABC – Hobart and Perth – talking about the history of this classic pub dish. The Hobart interview was written up on their website here.

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