• NZ Booklovers

Simply Food by Eleanor Ozich


When Eleanor Ozich’s book arrived for review, I was initially underwhelmed. How wrong I was. But bear with me for a moment, because I quickly had my head straightened.


There are a great number of fabulous young foodies in the market-place right now and many follow the same formula for their cookbooks. Every recipe is accompanied by an Instagrammable photo which says a great deal more about the author than it does about their food. It’s all a bit same-same, and I admit that I did not give Simply Food the time it deserved until my daughter became totally absorbed by it. You know that moment when the someone becomes so immersed in a book that they lose track of their surroundings. Returning reluctantly to Mother Earth, she admitted that she already had three of Eleanor Ozich’s books and said she really rated her as both a cook and an author.


I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, because my daughter is as serious about books as I am. She once cried when she realised that not all families have books in their homes. Next time I visited her, she had thoughtfully set out the aforesaid books for me to peruse. And peruse I did; finally understanding the phenomena that is Eleanor Ozich, and the reasons for her popularity – especially in the demographic my daughter occupies. These are the 30-40 young mum’s with a penchant for good, wholesome food that doesn’t cost the earth – literally. They’re into sustainable practice and their homes are functional oasis that showcase their love of nature. They make and bake and their children’s lunchboxes are filled with creative food. They’re always on the lookout for creative ways to engage their children in healthy food choices and Eleanor, who is herself a mother of three young children, is frequently the highly relatable role-model they can turn to for stylish solutions.


Simply Food is crammed with 80 recipes for elegant, efficient, evening meals; lunch-box fillers; no-fuss picnic fare; soups, salads and delicious healthy baking. It’s no wonder this sassy gal has such a following, and Simply Food was shortlisted for the NZ Booklovers Lifestyle Award 2022. And I may be a slow learner, but I’m happy to say I finally got onboard the Ozich train.


Reviewer: Peta Stavelli

Penguin