Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hello from the New Owners!

An introduction is probably a good place to start. We are Felicity & Michael O’Driscoll. We have been “friends” of Cook the Books since it first opened in Mt Eden, and the opportunity to purchase the business really was the chance to buy our favourite store.

We are avid foodies! Whether its home cooked, a dinner with friends, or dining out – we love it!

For the past 4 years we enjoyed a touch of “The Good Life” – living in Hawkes Bay. Although we already had a passion for great food, living so close to where it is produced really changed our perception of what fresh produce means.

Since returning to Auckland, we are weekly converts to the various Farmers Markets, and are amazed at the ever increasing variety of produce available.

Hello from the New Home of Cook the Books!

We opened the doors at 81 Ponsonby Rd on Saturday 30th May, after a few weeks of what can only be described as frantic activity.

The new Cook the Books really is a “home”. Occupying a lovingly restored pre-1900 cottage on Ponsonby Rd, tucked between Witchery & The Fairy Shop.

As a commitment to our love of fresh produce, we have planted a winter vegetable garden directly fronting the road – proof you really can grow your own anywhere! Hopefully, we’ll soon be harvesting wonderful winter vege’s.

Our website will shortly be updated with new photography.

It’s an interesting and varied retail precinct to visit. As well as our immediate neighbours mentioned above, we would recommend a wander to Rob’s Patisserie, Macy Home, the French Art Shop, or Mecca Cosmetica.

What’s New in Store!

We are actively hunting down new & exciting titles to bring to the store, at the same time building a large & varied back catalogue of favourites. If the book you really want isn’t on the shelves, or displayed on our website – please ask! If it’s in print, we’ll do our very best to make it available.

Currently customers are enjoying the following books. Some are new in store, while others are back in stock.

The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook ($50)
From the wonderful Hummingbird Bakery in Notting Hill, London. A mouth-watering collection of sweet recipes, with everything from Key Lime Pie to oatmeal cookies. Our favourite – Ginger Cupcakes.

Pizza Modo Mio ($40)
From John Lanzafame – current World Pizza Champion. Traditional pizza, kid’s pizza, desert pizza - its all there. Including recipes for pizza sauces and a great recipe for gluten-free pizza dough.

Cooking on the Bone ($60)
Now re-released in glossy paperback. Good cooks know that anything cooked on the bone has more flavour. Covering poultry, fish, meat & game, a reference guide and recipe book in one.

Spice Markets ($55)
An encyclopaedic work on spices, spice mixes and spice pastes. Covering seeds & pods; berries & flowers; roots & barks. Includes over 250 recipes - ranging from Vodka and Juniper Cured Salmon, to Roast Chicken with Wasabi Chive Butter.

Esther Diamond!
We are delighted to have in store this beautiful range of designer t-towels and table napkins. With images by renowned NZ artists Martin Poppelwell, Dick Frizzell, Fane Flaws, Para Matchet & Leanne Culy. A great gift idea, or just add a piece of NZ art to your kitchen. Best of all – they really dry your dishes!

Preview range online @

Coming Soon!

In Search of Total Perfection: Reinventing Kitchen Classics.
From Heston Blumenthal; the combined “Perfection” books in paperback format. Due for general NZ release in September, we have secured several air-freighted copies which we will have in store mid-July. We will be offering these at the NZ recommended retail price of $55. If you would like a copy, please let us know.

A Second Helping; More from Ladies, a Plate.
Alexa Johnston’s fabulous follow-up to the incredibly popular Ladies, a Plate is coming in September. Look out for our complimentary recipe card in store. Again, if you would like a copy, we will send it wherever you are.

ps If you don’t have Ladies, a Plate – its available in store and on our website, and remains as popular as ever.

Weekends in Winter!

To warm up those cold winter weekends pop in for morning or afternoon tea. We will be sharing our favourite baking from NZ baking books. Bake by Alyson Gofton; Gran’s Kitchen by Natalie Oldfield; and Ladies, a Plate by Alexa Johnston.


It has been great to meet so many friends of Cook the Books in the past fortnight. If you are in store, please introduce yourselves we’d love to get to know you better.

Happy Cooking
Felicity & Michael