Friends. Food. Flavour. Michael Olivier

Michael Olivier says Friends. Food. Flavour. is the culmination of a long journey. He was invited by the Voyager Wine Estate in Western Australia to prepare a ‘Cape Buffet’ for the duration of the Margaret River November Wine Festival. He and his wife, Madeleine, researched, deconstructed, and rebuilt the recipes, leaving them with a collection of essentially Cape Dishes, which he wanted to publish.

Friends. Food. Flavour.

Michael and Roelien Immelman, a very talented illustrative designer agreed to go in a partnership on Friends. Food. Flavour., and including the recipes of friends, the book was born. The dishes are eclectic with Roelien’s superb illustrations and Mike Robinson’s sensitive photography.

Chapters are divided into:
  • Starters, Salads and Light Meals
  • Vegetable Sides and Vegetarian Dishes
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Beef, Lamb, Pork and Offal
  • Desserts
  • Afternoon Tea
  • Bits and Bobs
Recipes that caught my eye:
  • Dolmades (p26)
  • Oeufs en Meurette (p28)
  • Risotto of Chicken of the Woods and Black Garlic (p50)
  • Usha Singh’s Vegetable Biryani (p52)
  • Nicky Fitzgerald’s Goan Fish Curry (p67)
  • Old Cape Chicken Curry (p81)
  • Dianne Bibby’s Cape Malay Chicken Meatball Curry (p82)
  • Arroz de Pato (p84)
  • Christine Capendale’s Beef Fillet with Burrata and a Caper Sauce (p95)
  • An Indian Lamb Curry (p97)
  • Prue Leith’s Normandy Tart (p128)
  • Nicky Barber’s Peppermint Crisp Ice-cream Parfait (p140)
  • Roberta Muir’s Anzac Biscuits (p160)
Australian Biscuits
Australian Biscuits
What I made:

I made the Anzac biscuits which in order to use the protected word, you need permission from the Department of Veteran Affairs. The first time I baked them, they were fairly pale which I attributed to using maple syrup and not golden syrup. The second batch were baked for longer, giving them a lovely golden colour. They crisped up nicely and made for the perfect snack while we were on a road trip.

My impressions:

I really loved that the recipes had drink pairings. However, I found the ‘advertising’ in the pictures distracting. Some of the recipes have no photographs, only illustrations. The illustrations are an homage to Michael’s late father who taught him to draw. I chose some of the recipes as I know the people, and others because I have heard of them. One recipe attribution caught my eye, as the method is one I came up with years before blogging became a ‘thing’.

Publishing information:
ISBN 9781485900870
Format Hardback
Published December 2021

Penguin Random House South Africa sent me this recipe book to review.

Take a look at recipes to try from Friends.Food.Flavour

View the previous posts on October 12:


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6 thoughts on “Friends. Food. Flavour. Michael Olivier

  1. Interesting that almost all the recipes on your list, including the one you made, are identified with a cuisine from somewhere else — Indian, Goan, Australian… You didn’t say what made your biscuits different from the traditional ones dating back to World War I.

    best… mae at

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