I’ve read Donna Hay magazine for at least a decade and still have every single issue I’ve ever purchased. Long story short, I’m a Donna Hay magazine hoarder. They are all so beautiful to look at, but even better are the simple but elegant recipes that stand the test of time. I think you can tell this already, but I count myself among her many many fans.
Last week, as an early birthday present, I was able to attend an event at Luma restaurant with a dinner and Q&A with Donna Hay. The sold-out event, in celebration of her newest cookbook The New Easy, was a wonderful way to spend an evening. (Also wonderful: getting to spend the evening with my mom, since we’ve oohed and ahhhed over her magazine together many times).
The Q&A was led by Pay Chen, a host and food writer in Toronto, and she chatted with Donna about where she gets her inspiration (design and fashion), and about recognizing a need for simple food styling and a very clean white-on-white feel to the photography, a style which was in stark contrast to most food photography at the time she began her career. Following the Q&A, I had a quick chance to get a photo (I NEVER have the nerve to go up to anyone but figured this was a one time shot!) and say a few words. She was lovely and inspiring (and had amazing heels on, but that’s neither here nor there) — and she also stopped by the tables between courses to chat with everyone as an added bonus.
Dinner was a collection of recipes from the cookbook, including the best chicken I think I have ever tasted (not an exaggeration) — tarragon & lemon roasted chicken, plus a variety of side dishes and a salted chocolate caramel tart for dessert. A crowd pleaser at my table was this Annie’s Lane Clare Valley 2013 Riesling from Australia.
Picking up a copy of the cookbook on my way out the door was a wonderful way to end the night!