Love and Hunger by Charlotte Wood

Thoughts on the gift of food

By Tricia Brown
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Love & Hunger by Charlotte Wood

Love & Hunger by Charlotte Wood [©Allen & Unwin]


Love and Hunger is a distillation of everything Charlotte Wood has learned over more than twenty years about cooking and the pleasures of simple food well made.

The acclaimed and award-winning author of The Children and Animal People (as well as the popular cookery blog How to Shuck an Oyster). explores the solitary and shared pleasures of cooking and eating in an ode to good food, prepared and presented with minimum fuss and maximum love.

Charlotte's writing is delightful and compelling; full of honesty and compassion as well as her love of food. I found the chapters You still have to eat, The solace of soup and The private winter: Cooking during chemotherapy relating to the gift of food throughout illness and death particularly moving.

"So, to anyone who has ever heard of a friend in need and thought, 'I wish there was something I could do to help,' there is. It's called chicken cacciatore or lamb tagine or couscous with pine nuts or....It's also called, simply, love."

The book is divided into 4 main sections: Origins, Practicalities, Observations and Consolations. The chapters within tell wonderful stories of family and friends as well as cooking and eating experiences. Like a simple but glorious meal, this feast of a book is infused with warmth and generosity.

The recipes are uncomplicated and deliciously inviting and the kind of food that will make you long to get into the kitchen feeling freshly inspired to cook with joy for the people you love. Practical advice is also shared along the way such as overcoming a fear of pastry, how to roast a chicken and even how to regain your kitchen mojo.

This wise and practical book is very different to others you will find on the market – part novel, part cookbook, part advice – but the sum of the total is a read that will nourish the soul and the mind as well as the body.


Love and Hunger by Charlotte Wood is published by Allen & Unwin (Australia, May 2012; pb, 308 pp) and retails in Australia for A$29.99.

 It can be purchased online via here »



  • Sydney (NSW)

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August 07th, 2012
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