Title: The Dirty Chef
Author: Mathew Evans
Opening line: ‘…There wasn’t much blood. Just a trickle from a perfectly round hole only a few millimetres wide. But the pain. Oh, the pain…’
I am a huge fan of Matthew Evans’ TV show – Gourmet Farmer. So when this book came out I grabbed it hoping to find out some of the things that didn’t go into the show. I was not disappointed. Here is the story of a city slicker, who spent his weeks eating in restaurants and writing about them, yet yearns to grow his own vegies but thinks he never can – then after tasting milk straight from a farm and comparing it to the milk in a very expensive coffee he had drunk the night before – he knew there was better tasting food out there and he wanted it. Everything fell into place and he left his life as a food critic (although he is still dealing with some outstanding law suits by disgruntled restaurant owners a decade on) and moved to Tasmania. Reading the book did fill in some blanks, such as how he gets to live in Tasmania, something only alluded to in passing in the series. Matthew isn’t afraid to let us read about his failures as well as his successes – it is warts and all – but not too many warts. Life is tough on the land – so when he failed it was often Mother Nature behind it. Written in an easy to read style, I felt like I was sitting at his kitchen table having a coffee and a yarn. Lots of laughter – and yummy recipes – I could hear his ‘voice’ as I read it. I loved that he is promoting healthy farming, organic if you will, and was quite confronted at one stage where he was talking to a farmer who grew chick peas who admitted they wouldn’t eat them as he knew what he put on the crops to get them ready for market; and another farmer – a beef producer, who fed the cows hormones to fatten them up for market, but had a few cows separate which he killed for his own family that didn’t get the hormones. THE DIRTY CHEF certainly makes one think about food and how it gets to our tables
C – Above average. Was very readable and I really liked it but was easily able to put it down and walk away for a while.
For more about the author – Click Here