Cookbook Review: Recipes for a Good Time

I love this book. I’m not sure how often I will cook from it, but I love this book.


The vibe is retro-rockabilly and it’s just a lot of fun. It’s filled with something different on every page. A quick flick through this book turns into sitting down and looking at every page and reading the words written by Bodega and Porteno owners slash chefs Elvis Abrahamanowicz and Ben Milgate.

There are recipes and stories and guest “recipes for a good time” spots from the likes of David Chang and Dan Auerbach. It feels like reading a compendium rather than a traditional cookbook – there all different ideas and people and fun things pulled together into the one place. There are recipes that set challenges and things you wouldn’t expect (if it was anyone else’s cookbook). There are instructions for making chorizo. For making feta. How to make milk bread for burgers and what to fill them with. How to cook a “whole beast on a cross”.

There are photos of the boys in action, with their chef aprons and tattooed arms and cool hair and knives you don’t see every day. There are photos of the awesome wall art in their restaurants and, of course, there are photos of the food.

My favourite section is the picnic section. It covers everything from the food and drinks to the outfits and the cars (or as they say, “the motors”). It’s also full of fun photos of vintage cars and people having a good time.

As I’ve mentioned, the recipes set quite a challenge. They contain a lot of steps and a lot of ingredients. The banana split, for example, is nine different recipes long. It reminded me of my Adriano Zumbo cookbook. These are recipes to challenge you and if you’re up for it, you’ll love this book even more.

What kind of food blogger would I be if I didn’t take that challenge?

I have to admit, when Boyfriend and I set out to test drive Recipes for a Good Time we didn’t pick the most difficult recipes in the book. But, we were super happy with the recipes we did pick and the way they turned out.

I couldn’t resist creating a cocktail inside a pineapple, inspired by the picnic section:


We made Chimchurri to go with barbecued skirt steak:



And Tomato and Onion Salad:


And Beetroot Salad:



Everything was incredibly scrumptious and Boyfriend and I were very happy with our dinner.

I think probably the most challenging (well, maybe not most “challenging” but definitely the most time-consuming/most effort) of the recipes was the beetroot salad. Needless the say, it was also the most rewarding. It was not only the best salad we’ve ever made, but it is probably the best salad we’ve ever eaten.

I’ll admit, it was a lot of effort. There were a lot of different components – confit garlic, homemade feta (we cheated and bought some), roasted beetroot, tea smoked pecans, stuffed olives, watercress. It’s totally worth it though and I would definitely make it again.

Even if you don’t cook a lot from this book, it’s still a book you will enjoy flipping through. 

The details:

The title: Recipes for a Good Time
The chefs: Elvis Abrahamanowicz and Ben Milgate
The format: Hardback
The publisher: Murdoch Books
The RRP: $59.99

Recipes for a Good Time can be purchased online here.


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