I am Clare Richards, both author and publisher of tropical cuisine: cooking in clare’s kitchen. As you will read in these pages, I have been a passionate explorer of the world of food for a long time (my whole life to be truthful). My father told a story of walking into the kitchen to find me, no more than 18 months old, sitting up on the kitchen table tucking into a sour pickled cucumber with a screwed up expression on my face. He took away the pickled cucumber, at which point I started bellowing until he gave it back, and I happily continued eating away, complete with the scrumpled face.
My adventures in food and love for good, fresh, flavoursome food and eating local seasonal produce eventually lead me to write this cookbook. When I first moved to northern Australia, it was the old pearling town of Broome in the Kimberley, Western Australia that became my new home. I sought to find current cookbooks that could guide me in my process of culinary discovery of the foods of north Australia, but could find very little. Instead, I relied on word of mouth recipes from local work mates to get me started in my tropical cooking. When I later moved to Cairns, I found the same dilemma. What grows best here in my herb and veggie garden, and how do I use it once I’ve got it growing? If I buy a particular fruit or vegetable at the markets, what will I do with it? I could not find a comprehensive contemporary tropical cookbook to guide me. So I came to write the book that I was looking for.