Throwing shrimp on the barbie used to be the popular stereotype of Australian food. But modern Australian cooking is reaching beyond its British roots and redefining itself, thanks in part to a blend of multicultural cooking.
Australia's rise on the culinary front over the last decade is the subject of "Australian Food: In Celebration of New Australian Cuisine," by journalist Alan Saunders. In the book, the country's top chefs and food writers contribute recipes that are quintessentially Australian and those that are a synthesis of Mediterranean and Asian dishes.
Saunders profiles cooks and merchants who have contributed to the rise in quality of the cuisine. For instance, Greek-born Sydney chef Janni Kyritsis blends multicultural influences in a dish that combines Australian beef with Mediterranean olives, is wrapped in an English dumpling, and is served with fried spinach and a French Madeira sauce.
Saunders writes: "The taste of Australia is the flavor of change, adaptation and in the very best sense of the world compromise."