Eat, Drink and Be Straddie

Stu and I have roamed the world with our cameras in hand.

Between us, we’ve tried Sunmudo martial arts while staying at a temple in Korea, tiptoed across the ice on Lake Baikal in Siberia, slept on the beach in Rottnest Island, hiked volcanos in Hawaii and spent summer solstice in a drum circle at Stonehenge,

But for our latest passion project we cast our eye much closer to home, venturing out from behind the lens to do so.

The end result is a full-colour cookbook named Eat, Drink and Be Straddie: Tales and Tastes from an Island in the Sun.

The 200-page tome, available now, contains 100 beautifully photographed recipes, all of them featuring ingredients sourced on the island.

These are complimented by a variety of stunning landscape shots, taken at sunrise and sunset, on the beach, in the water, across rocky headlands and from the top of cliffs accessible only by hike. The final touches are feature stories on the island’s producers, a timeline of key historical events, a forward by Australian sporting icon Matthew Hayden and a welcome by Quandamooka elder Dr Aunty Joan Hendriks.

The end result is an adventure and a recipe book all rolled into one.

The end result is an adventure and a recipe book all rolled into one.

Check out a little sample of the book here

The cookbook was put together over the course of a year, but was much, much longer in the inspiration. I had recently returned from three years travelling overseas and came over to the island to visit my sister.

At that point, I intended to stay only one night, but sitting on the headland, drinking a glass of wine as whales breached in the waters offshore, I knew I’d found somewhere more special than that.
Suffice to say, Straddie had cast its spell, which it later did on Stu as well, prompting us to relocate to the island with our dog Chester, get married, and set up our business, Stradbroke Island Photography.

The move only enhanced our appreciation for some of the island’s biggest drawcards – its people, its stories, its wonderful sense of community spirit and, in their case, an unexpected gift of inspiration.

We’re always on the lookout for a great photo opportunity, and having heard about the island’s famous mullet run, we headed to the beach early one morning to see what it involved.

As we watched the fishermen in action, we were struck again by the island’s relationship with food. There’s such a wonderful respect for what the land and sea provide, and we knew we wanted to showcase that spirit to the wider community.

So the idea for Eat, Drink and Be Straddie was born.

We could already draw culinary expertise from Stu’s previous work as a baker and also worked with a high-end team of cooks, designers and wordsmiths to create the book.

We also sought out local leading lights, determined to introduce the wider world to some of Straddie’s longest and most iconic characters.

These are the people that come to mind when you use the term ‘local’, it wasn’t too difficult to convince them to part with their signature dishes, and a little of their own stories, which run the gauntlet from shipwrecks to spearfishing.

We were so honoured by how many of them were willing to give freely of their time and stories to support us.

We can’t wait to share them with the world.

The book, with a RRP of $50, is available now. You can order a copy at www.eatdrinkstraddie.com

Peruse a sample of the book

https://issuu.com/eatdrinkandbestraddie

For more of Ang and Stu’s amazing photography, see https://www.instagram.com/eatdrinkandbestraddie/

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