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The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry: Lee Tran Lam quizzes chefs, critics, bar staff and other people from the world of food about their career highlights and lowlights, war stories and favourite places to eat and drink in Sydney.

Nov 2, 2018

$10,099 – that's how much someone is asking for their copy of Christine Manfield's Tasting India cookbook on Amazon. Sure, India Today called it the book to give native newlywed couples once they head overseas, so it's a prized publication – but luckily, the new updated version of the award-winning book is much more budget-friendly (and includes new chapters on Hyderabad, Punjab and Gujarat, too).

While Christine Manfield is known as the acclaimed chef behind restaurants such as Paramount, East@West and Universal, we spend a lot of this podcast talking about her travels to India – a country that she's constantly visited for more than two decades. She has vivid stories of spice markets (and mountains that are literally fragrant with cardamom being grown) and the home cooks she's met, whose  dishes she documents in her cookbook. Plus, we cover the regional (and religious) differences that shape the food on the plate. And what you have for an Indian breakfast (it is way better than toast and cereal).

It was also great to talk to Christine about gender representation in the industry (particularly after she was a judge in the S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition last year and was quoted in the Herald as saying: "Where the f--- are the women?"). And I loved hearing about how Christine is still recognised on the streets of India because her Gaytime Goes Nuts dessert appeared in the finale of Masterchef Australia in 2012. (The dish is not only delicious, it's also a statement in support of the gay community, too.)

You have a rare chance to eat Christine’s food again because she’s running Tasting India dinners across Australia in November, at much-loved restaurants such as The Agrarian Kitchen outside Hobart, Anchovy in Melbourne and Lankan Filling Station in Sydney. For details, visit Christine Manfield's website.