I first came across Katie Quinn Davies’ blog What Katie Ate a couple of years ago after following an article link for Donna Hay’s general store in Sydney. Struck by the raw honest quality of the pictures on her blog, I became a devout follower. Katie’s story is lyrical. Having trained and worked in the world of design and media in Dublin, Katie moved to Australia in 2006 after meeting the man who she would dedicate her first cookbook to. A life changing decision towards self discovery led Katie to start a food blog in 2009 and explore food styling and photography. The What Katie Ate blog became a sensation and the cookbook became inevitable.
What Katie Ate – Recipes And Other Bits & Bobs by Katie Quinn Davies is published by Penguin’s Lantern division in Australia. The book takes off with an honest and heartfelt account of Katie’s soul searching moments that eventually led her to the path she is on. With a background in design and art, the cookbook is a stunning visual feast of dark tones, raw edgy photography, delicious chaos and textural celebration that has a tiny bit of vintage retro injected in it.
Regular visitors to the blog will notice that they might have seen a lot of the photographs and recipes before. Being essentially a blog to cookbook affair, a lot of the recipes and photography has already appeared on Katie’s blog. But there is a treasure trove of new content that is every bit as tantalizing as what Katie’s fans are used to. Generous full page food photos accompany thoughtfully and elaborately written recipes that look like they were typed on a vintage typewriter. Just like her story and her words, the recipes are honest and cannot be faulted. This is real food in varying degrees of difficulty (nothing too hard for the amateur cook), food that you can easily prepare with seasonal ingredients and cook for yourself and your family. It is fuss free with a lot of variety. Katie’s love of chocolate shines through towards the end of the book as she shares some stunning yet simple dessert recipes.
The 300 page cookbook is spread out across breakfasts, lunch, salads, canapes and drinks, dinners, sides and sauces and desserts. One of the early recipes in the book is one for Homemade Baked Beans. It is brilliant. I loved the depth of flavour when I made these. Another favourite of mine is the Pulled Pork Sandwich With Apple Cider Slaw. The slow cooked pork is like velvet and the punchy tangy nature of the dressing and salad pair beautifully with the meat. The Parmesan Cookies with Roasted Tomato and Pesto were easy to make and quite the crowd pleaser as were the Blue Swimmer Crab Cakes With Hot Pink Mayonnaise. Some recipes I am looking forward to experimenting with are Strawberry Basil And Black Pepper Ice Cream, Blood Orange And Rosemary Cake, Sticky Chicken With Sesame And Chilli and the Aussie Chilli Burgers.
The What Katie Ate cookbook wants to make you reach out and touch the pages, like a beautifully designed food scrapbook. There is a wealth of detail in the layouts, textural elements that make the page pop, props that play with the lights hitting them, the rumpled linen that barely peeks and the little flickering flames creating magic. With Christmas not very far away, this one should go to the top of your list.
Buy What Katie Ate – Recipes And Other Bits & Bobs