Even when I was just a little girl I always knew that cooking was what I wanted to do, or as I used to tell my mum, Cooee, “When I grow up I’m going to be a ‘cooka’ in the kitchen.” Little did I realise just how true those words would prove to be! Although they’re now many years ago, I still have such clear memories of those special times with my mum. As she cooked I would stand on a chair beside her and insist on having my own bowl and spoon then make my very own version of whatever she was cooking. She must have had infinite patience to cope with me constantly underfoot! But she was a wonderful mum and I loved pottering about and learning from her.
As time went by I just kept on cooking. When I was ten mum bought Margaret Fulton’s first big cookbook and that was a real turning point for me. I would immerse myself in it during the week and then on the week-ends practice what I’d read. Frying eggs, cooking bacon, learning how to roast, and most importantly for a little girl with a very sweet tooth (I’m told I could sniff out chocolate at 40 paces!), baking cakes and puddings.
All through my teens I continued to cook. I cooked when I was happy and I cooked when I was sad; I cooked when I was in love, (and cooked even more when I was out of love!); I cooked to avoid studying and so on it went. Then finally the great day came when I actually started to do it for a living! First in restaurants, then writing for magazines, then onto teaching, television, radio and finally, and to me most importantly, the thing I love most of all…writing cookbooks.
I’d love to think that you use my website and my books a bit like the way I cooked with my mum. To feel that I’m there beside you in the kitchen and that we are both sharing the special joy that comes from cooking and learning together.
To watch my television interview on the ABC’s One Plus One programme with Jane Hutcheon, please click here
To listen to my radio interview with ABC Brisbane’s Mary-Lou Stephens about my cookbook, Desserts click here
Over the years I have been fortunate to receive a number of awards for my work in both the book world and on television. These include…
- Desserts (Lantern Books) – Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, 2013 (France). Best Desserts book in Australia.
- The Country Cookbook (Lantern Books) – Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, 2011 (France). Best Easy Recipes book in Australia.
- The Country Cookbook (Lantern Books) – The International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Cookbook Awards for 2011. Short-listed to the final three (the only Aussie book to be so for this prestigious award).
- Mix & Bake (Lantern Books) – Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, 2007 (France). Best Desserts Book, English, Rest of World
- Mix & Bake (Lantern Books) – Australian Food Media Awards, 2008. Highly Commended, Best Recipe Book over $36
- Belinda Jeffery’s Tried-and-True Recipes (Viking) –The James Beard Foundation Cookbook Awards 2003 (New York.) Joint winner for Best Food Photography.
- Belinda Jeffery’s Tried-and-True Recipes (Viking) – Australian Food Media Awards, 2003. Highly Commended, Best Soft Cover Food-related Cookbook over $30,
- Gold Ladle Award (1997), Bronze Ladle Award (1999) – World Food Media Awards. Best TV Food Show Segment within a Show (whilst I was cooking presenter, for 6 years, on the Better Homes and Gardens TV Show.)
- During my association with Better Homes and Gardens the show collected a string of Australian television industry awards, including five TV Week Logies for Most Popular Lifestyle Show, and two People’s Choice Awards.
My favourite charity
Just A Drop – www.justadrop.org
I have a declared interest here, as my wonderful sister-in-law, Fiona Jeffery OBE, started this charity organisation in 1997 to help bring clean water to communities that are desperate for it. She is now Just-A-Drop Chairwoman.