Onwards, Karen Dudley

Onwards is about letting go and staying tethered.


When Karen Dudley closed her iconic restaurant, The Kitchen, in Woodstock, Cape Town, there were tears all over for the beloved establishment. Since then, Karen has found that connection does not necessarily reside only in bricks and mortar. She has found that she can carry that deliciousness onwards. This book is about how she has done just that.
In Onwards, Karen Dudley weaves a compelling narrative of how her life changed after the Covid-19 pandemic forced her to close, The Kitchen. From these bleak circumstances arose something beautiful, offering the time and space for inspiration to take root, to rediscover her connection with food, and to shift her perception of what it means to cook, for oneself and for others. Onwards  is a book about the way forward, filled with wholesome, nourishing and indulgent recipes, with a story of hope and happiness threaded throughout.
Today’s recipe book review from Lavender and Lime ♥ Onwards ♥ #LavenderAndLime Click To Tweet
Deeply Roasted Sesame Sauce
Deeply Roasted Sesame Sauce
Chapters are divided into:
  • Recipes to help with letting go
  • Salads I would have made at The Kitchen
  • The solace of vegetables
  • My brassica affair
  • Actual lunch and supper
  • I make lunch for my Sweetheart now
  • Curiosity and hunger
  • The peace of toast
  • Earrings and lipstick for Instagram
  • The crispy topping and ASMR
  • The truth of butter and sugar
  • The new imagination
Five-Spice Chicken & Pork Meatballs
Five-Spice Chicken & Pork Meatballs
Recipes that caught my eye:
  • Caesar Wholegrain Mayonnaise (p12)
  • Deeply Roasted Sesame Sauce (p13)
  • Sumac Dressing (p14)
  • Beetroot Salad with Cardamom-Ginger-Mint Yoghurt (p35)
  • Smashed Roasted Potatoes with a Few Suggestions (p53)
  • Brussels Sprouts with Nuoc Cham Dressing (p65)
  • Red Cabbage with Capers, Basil & Pine Nuts (p72)
  • Five-Spice Chicken & Pork Meatballs (p78)
  • Melting Eggplant Pasta (p100)
  • Roast Leeks with Anchovy & Soft-Boiled Eggs (p102)
  • The Giant Sausage Roll (p118)
  • Walnut Chilli ‘Crisp’ (p129)
  • New Lemon Squares (p180)
  • Aniseed Shortbread (p182)
  • Ukrainian Yoghurt Pancakes (p198)
Ukrainian Yoghurt Pancakes
Ukrainian Yoghurt Pancakes
What I made:

For my chosen recipe I needed to make the deeply roasted sesame sauce. YUM is the one word I would use to sum it up. The sauce was perfect for the meatballs that I made, together with the walnut chilli crisp. I will rename this when I share the recipe as walnuts are not the main ingredient. And it comes with a HOT warning as it is very spicy. The pancakes were perfect for an afternoon treat and I would easily make them again.

Walnut Chilli 'Crisp' Onwards
Walnut Chilli ‘Crisp’
My impressions:

Not all of the recipes have photographs which I know is a make or break for some of my readers. The backgrounds are very busy, and I felt that distracted from highlighting the food. I feel the story would have had more impact had the book been published in 2021. There is because there is such a sense of grief echoed in the book. I hope Karen has healed and moved on!

Publishing information:
ISBN 9781485901143
Format Trade Paperback
Published May 2023

Penguin Random House South Africa sent me Onwards to review.

View the previous posts on October 31:


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10 thoughts on “Onwards, Karen Dudley

  1. Covid brought on so much change for so many. And oddly it was for the better for many I think. It opened up new opportunities and chances.

  2. Oh gosh, oh golly! With all the costs of the past few years my cookbook moratorium should be firmly in place . . . but this book attracts! I would not have expected much of a difference in SA and Australian cookery vibes but there are . . . hence the interest . , , the book just released here is darn expensive but shall see :_ !!!

    1. How lovely of you to offer but, in my time, I have carried far too many heavy books on-and-off planes to allow anyone to do so for me to save a few dollars . . . but thanks heaps! I really do like some of her recipes – well, Christmas is next month already . . . isn’t it 🙂 ? I do like the sound of that sesame sauce 🙂 !!!

  3. I would love to support her and buy this book and of course indulge in these recipes. So many wonderful dishes to make, and so little time. The pancakes look delish.

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