Food (Definitely) Worth Making

What would a Cantabrian do if they wanted to publish a cookbook? Start a publishing company and publish it themselves of course.  This is exactly what Sam Mannering has done TWICE, recently publishing his second cookbook, Food Worth Making with his publishing company Posh Giraffe.

Fine, if you want to get technical he was strictly born outside the Christchurch city limits (Hamilton) and is now based in Auckland, after a stint at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. But a move here at an early age is surely sufficient to claim him, and given his immense talent in not only cookbook writing but also acting (and coming up with awesome names for books and publishing companies), we definitely want Mr Mannering on our books.

Following his very successful collaboration with Annabel Graham on his first book “A Year’s Worth: Recipes from the Dunsandel Store”, Food Worth Making, which includes beautiful photography by Daniela Aebli, was released in August and has been overwhelmingly well received.  We couldn't agree more, Food Worth Making, is a seriously apt title. 

Christchurch got amongst the celebrations its own launch party, impeccably hosted by Lawn Interiors and its important to mention that all those signs pictured above were HANDMADE by Jessica, owner of Lawn (is there anything this girl can’t do) and guests got a chance to sample some of the recipes made by Sam himself.


A chat with Sam will leave you even more keen to arm yourself with his book and hit the kitchen.  His attitude towards food and cooking is refreshing and most importantly realistic.  His aim was clear, to produce a book full of good food, which will end up passed between family members and covered in remnants of many memorable meals after being pulled out again and again. The recipes are approachable, attainable (but very worthy to be called upon if you need to show off) and timeless.  They are inspired by family, friends and travels and each has a little story, including tips, caveats and backstory which gives them great context and makes it a bloody good read even aside from the crazy amazing food.


While there is a clear appreciation for local, seasonal produce, its not over hashed to the point of being unrelatable.  Sam clearly realises not everyone can jump in their boat to head round the peninsula for a quick forage or set up a near commercial scale market garden in their backyard.  While it must be easy to get carried away and create an aspirational work of culinary literature/art when writing a cookbook, Sam has kept the reader and reality firmly in mind.  In a world increasingly full of food trends and fads, this approach is a welcome change.  He knows everyone makes mistakes (including him) and that we don’t always have the luxury of time when cooking.  For example, he acknowledges that if you have the time and foresight to soak dried chickpeas for days, they will probably be pretty good - but if you cant, tinned is fine. 

You can’t put it better than Sam did himself, it really is food worth making.  This is a book you will pick up and use on the daily.

FoodJohanna McCordBook