Editor: Alison Oakervee 
Kyle Cathie RRP $17.99
Review: Monique Mulligan 

Share: The Women for Women InternationalFood. It’s a basic need for all humanity. For some, food is hard to come by; others have food in abundance. Physically, food sustains us, maintains us and boosts us; emotionally, food can strengthen bonds between families and friends. These truths are celebrated in a beautiful new cookbook, Share: The Cookbook That Celebrates our Common Humanity, which has been published in aid of Women for Women International.

I was fortunate to be sent a copy of this thoughtful and inspiring cookbook to review. I spent a while one Sunday afternoon with my sister-in-law, leafing through the pages; not only were we excited by the tempting recipes, but the message behind the book spoke to us. It’s one of those books – one designed to make you think about more than food as you turn the pages. Stories showing the inner strength and resourcefulness of women facing great hardship in war-torn countries – rape, assault, starvation, losing homes and family – are interwoven between a cornucopia of recipes. We wiped away tears and spoke of how blessed we were in our lives … in between noting recipes to try.

The book includes recipes from world-class chefs, celebrities, influential humanitarians and unsung heroes – such different people, but all committed to making a difference, however small. There are also recipes from some women whose lives have been improved by Women for Women International. A quick glance shows a focus on fresh ingredients and simple cooking, in which nurturing the soul is more important than fuss and bother. That’s how I like to cook – I want to cook things that people want to eat, not stare at like an artwork. What caught my eye? A hearty chicken soup (made it that night), an orange scented olive oil almond cake, baklava, pot-roasted silverside with shallots, roast pork fillet with five-spice plum sauce … and much more. Did I mention the gooey chocolate brownies?

A visually stunning cookbook with heart, I know it won’t be long before it takes on the appearance all well-used cookbooks have … a few splatters here, a smudge there. I can’t wait to get started. With a foreword by Meryl Streep, contributors include Paul McCartney, Trudie Styler, Annie Lennox and Richard Branson. All profits from sales of this book will go towards Women for Women International … so if you are looking for a cookbook, this is the one you must have!

Available from good bookstores. This copy was courtesy of Simon & Schuster.