"The Cook's Companion" by Stephanie Alexander is a hot book. The second edition from 2004 was out of stock and proved elusive for a very long time, even from resellers. Thankfully, a new edition has come out. The book declares itself to be 'The complete book of ingredients and recipes for the Australian kitchen'. With a cover illustrating a rainbow of bright, happy colors, it definitely conveys the cheerful, carefree demeanor of Australians.
Alexander added more recipes to make the tome a 1000-recipe encyclopedia of the common ingredients that should be found in a pantry Down Under. So the chapters are arranged alphabetically according to ingredients. These include abalone, bacon, dill, pears, rock lobsters, scallops, tropical fruits, zucchini and squash and for the more Crocodile Dundee types, kangaroo and wallaby, rabbit and hare or brains. Within each chapter, there is an array of recipes that pay homage to the various ethnic groups that now make up the Australian demographic. Beef would include beef daging rempah as well as Yorkshire pudding. Short informal recipes are printed on the margins to suggest variations and at the end of each chapter, there is a cross-reference for additional recipes listed in other chapters of ingredients which can be found in the same dish.
The front section is an exhaustive thesis on kitchen equipment, basic definitions and measurements, praise for the trusted farmer and an argument against genetically modified products.
This is a classic book favored by many well known chefs and would surely be in their cookbook collection, which probably explains why there weren't that many to go around.
It is the kind of textbook I gravitate towards to study in-depth and master the art of a cuisine that parallels one close to my heart - both which produce a palate of spicy and tangy flavors.