MasterChef Australia favourite Kumar Pereira shares his delicious everyday
recipes in a beautiful book filled with his full-colour, hand-drawn illustrations.
Growing up in Sri Lanka Kumar Pereira started cooking from about six years old, first with packaged Swiss Roll mix where all he had to do was add eggs and milk, before moving on to bread and butter pudding and other delicious desserts.
As a design student in London in the 1960s Kumar became more adventurous. When his parents would visit for extended holidays, his mother showed him how to cook curries, stews, soups and casseroles. He started entertaining.
Fast forward forty years and Kumar’s passion for home cooking landed him a spot on the third series of MasterChef where he quickly became an audience favourite.
‘Being on the show taught me so much, both in technique and method,’ says Kumar. ‘I met world famous chefs whose food helped push my cooking even further. Now food has become my world and given me a new life and new confidence.’
For years, at the request of his sons, Kumar created lovingly handwritten and illustrated recipes for them to cook from while he and his wife were away from home.
When friends saw these handcrafted designs they wanted copies too and soon there were delicious recipes circulated for everything from Crab Salad with Tomato and Green Tea Jelly to Gramma’s Mango Curry to Grilled Peaches with Crushed Amaretti.
Emboldened by his MasterChef experience Kumar has now collected all those recipes, together with their delicate illustrations, into an accessible cookbook. He has also added dishes that he enjoyed as a child growing up in Sri Lanka, plus a smattering of dishes from countries he has visited and lived in.
As much a sharing of memories and tastes as it is a how-to-guide, Kumar’s Family Cookbook is a visual record of a life dedicated to design, food and family.
‘Food is to be shared,’ says Kumar, ‘and nothing gives me more pleasure than cooking for the people I know and love.’
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kumar Pereira is a graphic designer, design teacher, food writer and tour guide. Kumar was a crowd favourite on series three of Australia’s MasterChef. He lives in Sydney.
Allen & Unwin