Dunedin Fonebook - Straight Outta Dunedin

by Insiders Dunedin

What’s small, easily packaged for travelling and incredibly good looking? Actually, it’s not me (even though I’d fit, folded, in a banana box), but a first-of-a-kind book from two savvy new self-publishers. Serving up Dunedin’s best ingredients, this is a uniquely tasty little morsel of a coffee table book-cum-perfect-gift − destined to be a hit with tourists, evoke smugness in locals and stab at the tartan hearts of homesick Dunedin ex-pats pining for some pretty. 

The brain child of art gallery impresario and up-and-coming photographer Michelle Chalklin Sinclair and famous travelling foodie, Judith Cullen, the Dunedin Fonebook (so called because all the images were taken on Michelle’s phone: “with today’s technology you can take the most amazing photos” she says) and because everyone used to have a phonebook, so its old school, but ‘fone’ is cool. The kids are down with it.

Judith, taking tours to Europe since 2005, and often taking home small photo/recipe/watercolour books about the cities of Italy, France or Turkey had long thought ‘why can’t we do that for Dunedin?’ She and Michelle bonded at one of her classes when Judith fell over laughing at Michelle’s dreadful cooking. Later impressed by her photographs, one day Judith came to her (Michelle jokes: “I thought she wanted some of my mince recipes”) and said do you want to do a book? “A book about food?” asked Michelle. “Noooooo,” said Judith. “A book about Dunedin. With food. I’ll do the food.”

The result beautifully showcases the best this scrumptious coastal city has to offer: cityscapes seen anew, beaches and wildlife accompanied by art from some of Dunedin’s best and recipes featuring the cream of local produce. The ideal aide memoire and never-mind-the-baggage-limit souvenir, the Dunedin Fonebook’s creators have already been inundated with advance orders for the book which will be available from November. Perfectly capturing a last-chance-for-gorgeous-before-you-fall-off-the-planet feel; the images are so vivid it’s like being hit in the face with a wet piece of seaweed while standing in front of a bluestone Gothic eating cake in a rainstorm. In other words: totally, utterly and wonderfully Dunedin.

$38 each available in Dunedin at UBS, Whitcoulls, Paper Plus, Made & Found, Moi, Design Withdrawals, H&Js, Olveston, Larnach Castle or direct from:

Post submitted by Lisa Scott

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