David O'Brien likes books about food - they inspire him - they've shaped him!
At the age of 16, as a young lad from dreary Liverpool in the UK, David spent most of his modest apprentice chef’s wage on cookbooks. In those days, travelling to the food capitals of the world to experience the greats wasn’t an option, so David experienced the culinary world through his books.
He made his first Crème Brulee from Marco Pierre White’s, Canteen Cuisine. He learned about the science, history and culture of kitchens from Harold McGee’s, Food and Cooking. And he studied Prosper Montage’s, New Larousse Gastronomique like a bible.
David hasn’t stopped collecting books since. Our Bondi office is stacked with hundreds and hundreds of beautiful books that he has collected over the last 25 years.
The latest book in our extensive library is Agnes Bertha Marshall’s, Ice. Agnes was a celebrity cook from the second half of the 1800’s, who wrote four books about chilled dessert. She is credited with inventing the first portable, edible ice cream cone and patented the first ice cream machine, that froze in five minutes flat – she even talked about the possibility of using liquid gas to make ice cream – who would have thought!
Not only does David still take inspiration from his books, our chefs are constantly referencing recipes from the classics and researching new methods – even the office staff can be seen flipping through the pages of Christine Mansfield’s, Spice or Heston Blumenthal’s, In Search of Perfection.
We are Food Rascal – and we are addicted to books.