Auckland's Boutique Magazine, Verve
1. VANILLA TABLE Natasha MacAller
Take 33 of the best international chefs, add the golden ingredient real vanilla and you will have the ‘recipe’ for a great cookbook. Ex-professional ballerina and chef with a mission, Natasha MacAller, has done that and then some in her beautiful new book, The Vanilla Table. It’s full of ‘want to cook’ recipes, and the clever chefs contributions vary from shaved fennel and Kerikeri orange salad through to slow roasted oxtail pot pies and raspberry meringue martinis, and so many great recipes in between. Vanilla is an all time favourite flavor for sweets and desserts but the twist of adding it to savoury dishes adds a subtleness that foodies will treasure. Definitely a book to sit and drool over, experiment with and then surprise and impress your friends and family with pure deliciousness. I have read and reread my copy of the book and the tin roof gooey scooter pies are a revelation, truly rich and rewarding.
New Zealand Sunday Herald
The Australian Women's Weekly
Published on Otago Daily Times Online News (www.odt.co.nz) Cook books By Charmian Smith, 13/11/13
Vanilla may be one of the most popular flavourings and aromatics for everything from ice cream and biscuits to shampoo and perfume, but it can be used for so much more, according to Natasha Macaller in Vanilla Table (Bateman).
Her vanilla candied bacon bits top a dessert.
Vanilla aioli and vanilla vincotto can top salads or pizzas.
This coffee-table book celebrates the spice, explaining the difference between vanilla from Tahiti, Indonesia, Madagascar and Mexico, and between vanilla paste, powder, and extract.
Macaller's recipes and some from 33 other international chefs range from simple (spiced oatmeal cookies) to whimsical (cranberry tweed cardigans) to innovative (the Tonga trifle topped with the remarkable vanilla candied bacon).
It's a fascinating exploration of some of the possibilities vanilla, sweet and savoury, and will be enjoyed by chefs and adventurous cooks.