Sam Woulidge has built up quite a following with her monthly column in TASTE Magazine. And rightfully so. Through her words she manages – every month – to take something as seemingly simple as food and somehow translate it into life lessons. Of course, life lessons can often be condescending and (let’s face it) irritating. This happens when they are delivered in a preachy, higher-than-thou tone. I don’t think Sam could get that tone massaged into her writing if she tried.
Instead, she is the friendly relative who invites you into their kitchen. She’s the talented chef who fills you in on one or two cooking tips you never forget. She’s the proud fisherman showing off glistening tuna. She’s a wife, a mother and a friend to share a bottle of wine with. She’s a winemaker. In short, her writing lets her become whatever you need at the time, and her subject matter has always been perfectly conveyed in the pages of magazines.
The fact that she has recently released a book, where these raw emotions are on shelves for anyone to pick up and read, is not lost on me. Sam has always struck me as a writer who is enormously honest and, unlike a lot of recipe/food books (mine included if I’m honest), this is a personal journey where Sam wears her heart on her sleeve. Confessions Of A Hungry Woman introduces you to a bunch of colourful and talented locals who share a love of food and wine. That’s the “plot” in a nutshell. What makes it so special though is the writing. Sam’s writing. Writing that makes this writer feel insignificant when he reads it. Writing that makes you laugh. Writing that makes tears well up in your eyes. Writing that makes you crave weird things. Like granadillas.
This is a book to add to the collection of anyone who loves food but also one to add to the collection of anyone who loves life. And anyone who loves reading. It’s sort-of a recipe book, as it does have recipes, but it’s also one that you can read on a Sunday morning. Look out for it at all major bookstores – you might notice the subtle cover.
Go forth and eat,