Chop, Taste and Read: Examining Stephanie Alexander's Diary Cookbooks
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Stephanie Alexander is central to any discussion of food and food writing in Australia; she may reasonably be considered Australia's Elizabeth David. This article examines two of Alexander's cookbooks written in diary format, Stephanie's Seasons (1993) and Stephanie's Journal (1999). Although the diary format is an unusual way to present a published cookbook, women have used this method, most commonly in manuscript cookbooks, never intended for publication. What makes Alexander's diary cookbooks unique is that they were written with the intention of being published. Diary cookbooks provide a means of incorporating aspects of a writer's everyday life with cookery writing and recipes. Importantly, the diary cookbook allows the writer to explore the minutiae of everyday life, including cooking and eating, whilst simultaneously articulating the performance of multiple identities--in Alexander's case, as entrepreneur, mother, restaurateur, friend, writer, daughter, community leader, activist, and chef.
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