Book of the Week - Kitchen Table Memoirs

Hi folks, this week I had the pleasure of reading a charming anthology from author Nick Richardson, called ‘Kitchen Table Memoirs‘. This lovely book brings together some of Australian’s best writers, foodies, and well-loved identities, sharing memories, laughs and poignant moments.

Kitchen Table Memoirs

The Book Review

Kitchen Table Memoirs is a light-hearted read, that is certain to give you a smile or three. It tugged at my heart strings a little, and hit me with a rush of nostalgia that I wasn’t expecting. It made me miss my nana, cherish my childhood, and think about how I am turning into my mother. Most of all, it reminded me that memories are a precious currency, and sharing them is food for the soul.

Contributors to Kitchen Table Memoirs include Helen Garner, Jessica Adams, Stefano di Pieri, Denise Scott, Annabel Langbein, Valli Little and many more.

The Author

Nick Richardson is a Tasmanian-born journalist with a diverse career spanning over 30 years. He’s worked around the country, and the globe, and currently resides in Melbourne with his family.

Nick explains, “I’m Tasmanian originally, the youngest of three sons and my mum still lives there in the home where we were raised. I always wanted to be a journalist, initially because I thought it was about writing. It took me a few years to realise that writing is only part of it. I know now that it’s fundamentally about people telling stories – real stories”.

Nick is a dad to one son, aged 16, who he describes as “…So tall now, and gangly. I have a photo on my desk at work of him with his Mum when he was a toddler and I marvel every day at where those years went”.

The Creative Mind

Initially inspired to write a freelance piece around the idea of food and families, one thought led to another, and Nick came up with an idea to “explore the kitchen table as the witness to so many domestic moments”.

He explains, “The original piece didn’t get to see the light of day but I thought the idea had legs and then I started to wonder that if I had a kitchen table story, then may be other people did too. It was a short step from there to approach Foodbank Australia to see if they wanted to be part of the project”.

When I asked Nick how he chose the contributors for Kitchen Table Memoirs, he replied, “Some of the contributors chose themselves: Martin Brown, who is an old friend, was a “pioneer’’ of table climbing, so it was entirely appropriate that he was involved. Others’ stories, such as Elizabeth Cashen’s poignant story, was too compelling to ignore. Some of the food-related stories, from writers such as Simon Marnie and Annabel Langbein, had the flavour and smell that help give the book another dimension”.

The Whimsical Spirit

Three fun facts about Nick (in his own words):

  1. One of the things I love doing is watching my son play sport (winter and summer). We’ve shivered and sweated through many years. I’m not exactly an Ugly Parent when it comes to sitting/shouting on the sidelines but it may be better to ask my wife Sue for a more objective view.

  2. I do love writing, perhaps no surprise. The moment when it all comes together and you feel the words fall in behind each other is a thing of joy.

  3. And music. My wife has some musical ability and I have none but we did learn the ukulele together last year. I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t keep up my practice but she did and now plays pretty well. I try to warble along beside her, much to our son’s horror. I have endless admiration for people who can write music, play it and sing it.

Share the Love

Each purchase of Kitchen Table Memoirs will help to put food on other people’s kitchen tables. A percentage of royalties from each book sold will be donated to Foodbank, Australia’s largest food relief agency. Find out more about Foodbank here, or pick up a copy of Kitchen Table Memoirs at your favourite book store.

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