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OP: Origin

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by Ben Shewry

Murdoch Books, 2012. Hardcover. Very Good, no jacket as issued. First printing.

New Zealand born chef Ben Shewry (1977– ) took the helm at Attica in Melbourne, Australia in 2005 and has since found the restaurant on annual “best of” lists.

Shewry makes a point of showcasing sustainability, using Australia’s native ingredients—like wallaby, emu, and puha, or sow thistle—which are all represented in his 2012 cookbook, Origin, while maintaining an air of accessibility to those outside the island nation. The elegant and delicate plating might suggest a level of chef-y fussiness, but Shewry’s clear agenda is allowing the ingredients to sing for themselves.

There are dishes that evoke the environment and landscape, such as a potato cooked in the dirt in which it was grown, served over smoked goat cheese and finished with coconut husk ash, ground coffee, chicken floss, and wild watercress. Or “sea tastes”—a dish that resembles the textures and colors of vibrant ocean life—consisting of clam custard, dehydrated seaweed, prawn jelly, fish sauce-marinated cucumber, and sea urchin foam.

With the aid of explicit recipes and Colin Page’s otherworldly photography, you’ll find further inspiration in the likes of roasted lamb with hickory smoked mushrooms accompanied by herbaceous macadamia nut-avocado sauce; southern rock lobster served in chicken-lemon balm broth, finished with broccolini stems and lemon oil; or a dessert of salt-baked pineapple with flower-infused fromage blanc.

The book was never released in the US and demand surged after Shewry’s appearance on the inaugural season of Netflix’s Chef’s Table. We are pleased to be able to offer a Very Good Plus first printing now. There are hints at prior use, but the book is largely clean and firmly bound. Minor shelfwear and bumping to the case.

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