172 Author Visit/Talk: Liz Harfull

ITEM: One fifty minute author presentation, or informal discussion, in the Adelaide metro are or Adelaide Hills, at a time and place to be negotiated between the author and the winning bidder.

DETAILS: Every year hundreds of talented amateurs spend countless hours preparing entries for cookery competitions run as part of some 600 country shows across Australia. These cooks range from stalwarts well known and respected in their local communities for their prize-winning efforts over many years, to talented newcomers using tried and true recipes and techniques handed down from generation to generation.

Some of their stories and recipes have been captured in The Blue Ribbon Cookbook, published by Wakefield Press in September 2008. The book focusses on 50 South Australian shows and their top cooks, capturing their secret tips and the recipes they have used to win those precious first prizes and blue ribbons.

Now in its third print run, the best-seller was named runner-up in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards announced in Paris in July 2009, after competing against 56 finalists from around the world. In April 2010 it was short-listed for the biennial Le Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards.

Author Liz Harfull is now researching and writing a national version capturing more stories and recipes from across Australia.

CV: Liz Harfull only 10 years old when she decided to become a journalist and writer. At the age of 12 she contributed her first published piece to a book in memory of Robe author Kathleen Bermingham, who was an early mentor; and at 17 she started her cadetship as a journalist at her local newspaper, The Border Watch.

Since then Liz has worked for a range of Australian and overseas publications as a full-time journalist, freelance writer and photographer. She also spent more than 10 years with one of Australia’s leading public relations consultancies, building a national reputation in the rural sector and being awarded a Churchill Fellowship which took her overseas to study better ways to communicate with farmers.

Today she lives and writes from her home in the  beautiful Adelaide Hills. In her spare time Liz volunteers as a committee member of her local historical society, and as president of the Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists – the umbrella organisation for the country’s five rural press clubs.

The Blue Ribbon Cookbook was her first book, bringing together her love of country shows, cooking and story-telling.  A keen amateur cook who thinks whipping up afternoon tea for 20 people is a great way to relax at the weekend, she became a prize-winning show cook in her own right while researching the book, winning prizes for her scones and jubilee cake. Her late father helped to set up one of the smallest surviving district shows in Australia – at Mil Lel.

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