Fleurieu faces and food revealed in coffee table cookbook


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By Melissa Keogh

A coffee table cookbook featuring the “faces and food” of the Fleurieu Peninsula is hoping to give greater recognition to the region’s farmers, fishers, producers and chefs.

Willunga foodie Rojina McDonald is publishing The Fleurieu Peninsula: Celebrating the Faces and Food featuring 80 businesses across 25 townships from Yankalilla, Port Noarlunga and Victor Harbor.

The book is set to be released in spring, with a crowdfunding campaign on track to support the inaugural print run of 2000 copies.

Regional businesses include d’Arry’s Verandah, The Salopian Inn, Wild Coorong Seafood, Goolwa Pipi Co, Coriole Restaurant, Small Word Bakery, Fleurieu Milk Company and Pizzateca.

Ellis Butchers in McLaren Vale are featured in The Fleurieu Peninsula: Celebrating the Faces and Food. Photo by Josie Withers.

The farmers, fishers, producers and chefs are featured alongside photos taken by Josie Withers and accompanied with signature recipes such as the slow cooked beef ribs with coleslaw and hot potato (Wakefield Grange) and the lemon almond ricotta cake (Willunga Farmer’s Market).

Local writer Heather Millar has written the stories behind the faces.

Rojina says her idea for a hardcover book was born in 2013 when she undertook a patisserie scholarship at Le Cordon Bleu in London.

“In my travels overseas and locally I realised very little is known about the history and the people in the food and wine business,” she says.

Rojina on a video shoot for the cookbook campaign. Photo by Josie Withers.

“I believe the food and wine industry of the Fleurieu – its people and products – is not recognised to the extent that other regions are, for example the Barossa Valley.

“With the publication of my book, I hope to widely showcase the unique charm, quality and culture of the Fleurieu region.”

A Pozible crowdfunding campaign has been established in hope of raising $15,000 to cover the cost of the printing and distribution.

Pleges of $65 and over will receive a copy of the book, which is to be printed in South Australia.

Rojina says she wants to target foodies and wine lovers locally, nationally and internationally and have the book sold in the featured businesses, at local tourist hubs, cafés, restaurants, markets and airports.

Growing up on her family’s McLaren Vale olive grove, she was always surrounded by the premium produce and pristine landscapes of the Fleurieu.

Rojina grew up in McLaren Vale, becoming immersed in the food culture from a young age. Photo by Josie Withers.

Working in a continental deli in McLaren Vale at the age of 13, Rojina says she became familiar with “local products and faces”.

Years later she ran a popular cupcake business, going on to be named Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the McLaren Vale Business Association and winning the international scholarship in London.

Under her newly established business, Soul Publishing, Rojina hopes to expand the ‘faces and food’ concept to showcase other regions of the state.

A second book, which focused on wine, beer and spirits of the Fleurieu, is already in the pipeline.

Culinary queen Maggie Beer, MasterChef foodie Jessie Spiby and actor Erik Thomson, who lives on the Fleurieu, have each shown their support for the ‘faces and food’ book.

Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our state by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.

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