Sarah Graham’s latest book – Smitten

Sarah Graham is one of those people you have to touch base with at least every 6 months, to keep abreast with the fast paced unfoldings of her foodie career. We recently added her second cook book Smitten to our shelves and aside from sharing some lovely recipes from its pages, had a little one on one to discuss the makings of yet another successful chapter in her life.


Was compiling Smitten easier than your first book Bitten? Any new challenges?

In a way it was easier, in terms of knowing the process of the recipe creating, testing, writing and the format of how to go about doing things on a practical level. And I had more confidence because of this, and more time than when I wrote Bitten, so I let myself have a lot more fun with it. But at the same time, it was terrifying in that I wondered if I would be able to inspire people a second time round, or had I scraped my own proverbial barrel of gastronomical creativity? Needless to say, there’s endless inspiration around us every day and the whole story flowed really well and I’m so happy with the end result.

Sarah, we think your proverbial barrel is more like the bottom of Mary Poppin’s handbag. Your TV series was you pulling out a lamp.

So, how would you say the recipes in Smitten differ from your first cookbook?

I describe Smitten as a grown up older sibling to Bitten – a little more sophisticated but still without being stuck up or snobbish.

We personify our kitchen tools too, so we can totally relate to that analogy.

You’re a mom second time round now. Congrats by the way. How much does being a super-busy working mom affect the ‘design’ of your recipes?

A lot! By default they take into account time and budget constraints, and I am also really health conscious, so while I’ll splurge on the odd decadent dessert now and then, the majority of my meals are light and fresh and healthy.

What’s your favourite thing about Smitten/what are you most proud of?

I love that I found a whole new level of creativity and confidence with the recipes, they are really fresh and interesting, but still totally accessible. I also love the overall look and feel of the design which the ever clever Bev at Randomhouse Struik poured her heart and soul into, and Lisa Clark’s genius food styling, as well as Warren Heath’s incredible photography. They really made my food come alive on the pages.

What else is in that Mary Poppins bag of yours? We hear there’s a second TV series in the pipeline…

Yes! Exciting and totally terrifying at the same time as we’ve just had our second daughter, Isla, and we’re all due to hit the road for 6 weeks starting mid-June until end July to film ‘Sarah Graham’s Food Safari’. We’re over the moon that it’ll be aired here in SA as well as in the US by Food Network so we have some exciting times ahead.

That’s a whirl wind adventure indeed. If you’re itching to get a taste of the fuel that feeds Sarah’s fire, check out these recipes from Smitten.

Smitten is definitely a book worth keeping in your artillery. After all, you can’t hunt dreams on a hungry stomach.

Special thanks to Sarah Graham for making some time to touch base with us again.