The essential book on modern Australian food from leading cook, thinker, and Ester founder Mat Lindsay.
"Never question anything Mat Lindsay does. Ever. He's a true genius, although the word is used so often it's become meaningless. But his particular mixture of sensibility, talent and devotional concentration is rare." Nigella Lawson
make a fire. fake a fire. roast your oysters. dance for pipis. slow it down. raise a toast. take lunch. grill a salad. bake a crab. step outside. burn your pav. pass the salt. eat with your hands. chew on the bone.
Ester is an invitation to play with your food and enjoy the adventure. It's born of an eponymous restaurant in inner Sydney, but it's proudly not a restaurant book. Think of it more as the foundations for some new ideas in your kitchen and at your table; written to be used, shared, read aloud, perhaps burnt.
Mat Lindsay's cooking resists easy labels. Certainly it's a distinct kind of full-flavoured Australian food: generous, mindfully chosen seafood; darkly caramelised wood-fired bread; vegetables cooked to just the right level of doneness; meat that's been treated with respect and, often, time; and the odd burnt pavlova, a true signature. Ester the restaurant is all about its wood-fired oven and the magic it imparts, but the fundamentals don't change at home, and everything in this book can be made delicious wherever you live.
The ethos of Mat's acclaimed and widely beloved Chippendale restaurant has always been to offer guests a no-rules good time and the intention within these pages is just the same. Whether it prompts you to rethink the possibilities of toast, roast your fruit, try the classic cauliflower, or embrace Sunday lunch, the Ester playbook presents many ideas to cook and live by.