According to its author, Jill Dupleix, New Food was based on new information and ideas we can all live by, like eating our mistakes, using non-stick pans, refusing to buy anything called instant and never apologising for our food. This fresh approach initiated a new surge of Australian cookbooks.
The first chapter of New Food is titled The Credo. It begins:
Buy only what is fresh and in season.
Do everything in your power to retain the original flavour of the produce.
The second chapter gets into the nitty-gritty of what the author calls “new food”. She writes:
It’s time we put together all that we have learned about good, fresh food, delicious flavours, healthy traditional diets, sustainable agriculture and new scientific knowledge, and came up with a new way of eating that our bodies, our lifestyles and our world can cope with.
Recipes run the gamut from Golden Caviar on Buckwheat Blinis through Focaccia with Everything to Prawns with Chermoula and Spicy Eggplant. There are new breakfasts, new picnics and new cakes. At all costs, the cook must avoid “trying too hard”, which Dupleix calls the most common mistake of eighties and early nineties dinner parties, as in “Poor Emma, she tried too hard”.
Jill Dupleix worked in advertising for eight years before she began to write about food. Her husband, Terry Durack is also a food writer. After the publication of New Food, Dupleix became the food editor of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in Melbourne. In 2000 the couple moved to London to work with The Times. Less than 18 months later, Dupleix was named Food Writer of the Year.
Dupleix has since written further books including Old Food, Simple Food, Very Simple Food and Lighten Up. The style of the books reflects her advertising background, with striking design and conversational language.
Returning to Australia after six years with The Times, Jill Dupleix resumed writing for the Fairfax group. She also contributes to the ABC’s delicious magazine.