Seven years ago we had what you might call a 'light bulb' moment which resulted in a decision to focus more on our inner health. I was forty years old and Mr G was forty two, middle age was upon us and we both wanted to make some adjustments to create a healthier lifestyle for ourselves. This would mean developing new cooking and eating habits to help us live a long and healthy life together for the next forty years at least.
Unlike my school days, I am now more eager to learn and in the interest of doing just that I searched the world wide web for two words 'organic' and 'wholefood'. The latter word resulted in the discovery of a new face, Jude Blereau and her website wholefoodcooking.com.au I signed up to her newsletter and went in search of her first cookbook - Wholefood - Heal...Nourish...Delight
(Published by Murdoch Books). I devoured that book from cover to cover, cooked from it and learnt a lot - it took me deeper into the nourishment of food and really helped my cooking.
Fast forward a couple of years, I'd been running my cooking school and had recently published my first cookbook Naked Food - the way food was meant to be (October 2012). Jude's newsletter arrived in my inbox one morning announcing that she had written her fourth cookbook Wholefood Baking (Published by Murdoch Books) and there was to be a Sydney launch/afternoon tea. Jude resides in Perth and doesn't get over to the east coast that often, so I decided to seize the opportunity and go along. It was a delightful afternoon of deliciousness, I met Jude, purchased a copy of her new book and she signed it for me. I also gifted her a wrapped copy of Naked Food with a hand-written card thanking her for being such an inspiration. There were no strings attached to my gift and I had no expectations of anything further, I was just happy to have met her.
Some weeks later to my delight a hand-written card arrived in my home letterbox from Jude. I was touched she had taken the time to thank and congratulate me on the publication of Naked Food. From that time on we stayed in contact via social media. As Mr G and I travelled across the bottom of Australia, Jude followed our journey via the photos and comments I posted. When we celebrated Christmas in Streaky Bay, South Australia, she made the comment to me - 'If you keep heading west you'll cross the Nullarbor Plain and arrive in my kitchen for breakfast! I responded boldly - 'We are crossing the Nullarbor Plain next week and will be in Perth on January 5th - what times breakfast?' Remarkably just weeks later I was sitting at Jude's kitchen table comfortably chatting and getting to know her a little more, while she cooked me her nourishing soaked grain pancakes with stewed apricots. I did say out-loud that morning - 'I can't believe I am here and YOU are cooking ME breakfast!' We laughed and I quietly thought how did I get here?
Since then I have seen Jude a lot more, each time she visits Sydney or I am in Perth we catch up for tea and cake and talk wholefoods, cookbooks and share our unfolding food journeys. Recently Jude was in Sydney on food business and I was fortunate to take her to Carriageworks Farmers Market for the morning. We had such fun jumping puddles in the rain, sharing breakfast and chatting with the farmers and producers. She bought me a gorgeous bunch of poppies to thank me for taking her to the markets. Poppies just happen to be one of my favourite flowers.
This month (as my second cookbook Our Delicious Adventure - Recipes and Stories of Food and Travel is away at the printers) Jude's fifth cookbook Wholefood From The Ground Up (Published by Murdoch Books) is being released in all good book stores across Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Last Saturday afternoon I raced off to my local bookshop and grabbed a copy of Jude's new book. I spent the rest of the day reading it - it's magnificent - possibly her best yet. Then today I cooked the Rosemary, Olive Oil and Lemon Teacake from the new book, utilising rosemary from my garden, lemons from my mum's lemon tree and my favourite organic extra virgin olive oil from Rosnay Organics. Mr G was eager for a taste as the cake came out of the oven and was a little impatient when I told him he would have to wait while I first captured the right image of the finished cake. Once I was satisfied, we cut into the still warm teacake and scoffed a generous slice each. I managed to grab the end slice that was extra-soaked with the lemony, rosemary infused syrup that you pour over the hot cake as it comes out of the oven. Yum!
So I told you all that to tell you this, there will be a Sydney launch for Jude's new book on Saturday 25th June - I'll be there with my copy of Wholefood From The Ground Up in hand, lining up to get it signed, steal a hug and cheer on my wholefood friend. Jude will be in conversation with another legendary chef, cookbook author and cooking teacher Belinda Jeffrey so it is sure to be a riveting and delicious afternoon together. You can purchase tickets from Jude's dear friend Holly Davis here - Holly is another wholefood pioneer and cookbook author who will also be at the launch - so really this is a wholefood event not to be missed!
Copies of Wholefood from The Ground Up by Jude Blereau will be available for sale at the launch RRP$39.99 - Hope to see you there x j