Cooking Index - Cooking Recipes & IdeasCookbook Review - bld - Cooking Index


Author: Luke Mangan with Lisa Hudson


The title of this book - bld - is an abbreviation of 'breakfast, lunch, dinner' and author Luke Mangan's stated aim is to take "a chef's expertise translated for the home kitchen".

It is structured around the hours of the day with slightly more than 100 recipes spread across 7am, 11am, 1pm, 4pm, 8pm and midnight time slots.

At the time the book was written (2000) Luke Mangan was an Australian pastry chef at Salt, one of Australian's trendiest restaurants in the Sydney suburb of Darlinghust. He teamed up with Lisa Hudson, a home cook, to put together a recipe book that would appeal to the home cooks.

Here's some typical recipes from bld (with recommended time of eating):

  • Spiced winter fruits (7am)
  • Pancakes with caramelised bananas (7am)
  • Seared blue scallops with blue cheese, polenta and shiitake mushrooms (11am)
  • Stewed strawberries and yoghurt (11am)
  • Chicken liver pate with preserved orange and rocket (1pm)
  • Grilled baby corn, feta and pear salad with walnut dressing (1pm)
  • Chocolate panforte (4pm)
  • Quince charlotte (4pm)
  • Rabbit tarts with polenta and shiitake mushrooms (8pm)
  • Barramundi with cauliflower puree, zucchini, basil, pine nuts and currants (8pm)
  • Peach clafoutis with Amaretto (8pm)
  • Tuna, tomato and herb frittata (midnight)
  • Welsh rarebit (midnight)

While I thought bld had some interesting recipes and ideas, it is clearly the work of a restaurant chef who (I am guessing) doesn't cook that much at home. A lot of the recipes are relatively complex and if you think I (or anyone else) is going to spend a lot of time preparing foods at 7am then I think Mangan has misjudged his audience. I've had this recipe book on the shelves at home for four years now and I've cooked perhaps four recipes from it, although I have browsed it fairly regularly for ideas.

I'm a great fan of Australian cookbooks - they are generally well laid out and illustrated - but this one is relatively badly laid out, especially in the ingredients listing. Jamie Oliver is quoted on the backing as saying: "I love Luke's's a bloomin' joy" but I wonder whether that refers to eating in his restaurants rather than preparing a meal from this book.


Hardie Grant Books, 2000, A$34.95, 148 pages (paperback)


Spencer Jackson (10 May 2007)