For a brief period in my childhood,and with the encouragement of my mother, I collected stamps. I’m not sure if children still do that these days and I know mine certainly have shown no interest in philately at all, but it kept me quiet and was a cheap hobby as family and friends were happy to save their stamps for me. As you can imagine, it wasn’t a particularly exciting collection as Australian stamps back then mostly just had a picture of the queen on them. Well, like so much in modern culture, stamp collecting has been “sexed up”, the queen has been ditched and Australia Post now looks to Australian legends to grace our mail.
Back in 1997 Australia Post initiated the Australian Legend Award stamp releases to honour “living Australians who have made a unique contribution to our way of life”, giving the very first award to (then living) the much-loved cricket legend Sir Donald Bradman. Since then there have been Australians from all walks of life honoured in this way and stamp collectors today enjoy images of such diverse Australians as fashion designer Prue Acton, music legend Molly Meldrum, footballer Gary Ablett and author Thomas Kenneally. This year Australia Post has chosen to highlight the legends of our culinary scene with the Legends of Cooking series.
Recognising the influence each of these special people have had over Australia’s food culture and the visionary role they have played in shaping Australia’s palate, Australia Post has chosen the culinary greats Margaret Fulton OAM, Maggie Beer AM, Stephanie Alexander OAM, Neil Perry AM and Kylie Kwong. These five legends were chosen by an industry selection panel and have each played a distinct role in the emergence of the sophisticated Australian food culture enjoyed by many of us today. According to Ahmed Fahour, Managing Director & CEO, Australia Post, “These five individuals have taught Australians to appreciate our abundant fresh ingredients and to embrace the flavours of multiculturalism, they are not just cooks, but business-minded authors, teachers, TV personalities and restaurateurs. For this, they truly deserve the title Australian Legend.”
In recognition of the achievements of Margaret Fulton, Maggie Beer, Stephanie Alexander, Neil Perry and Kylie Kwong and to share to love around a little, Australia Post has put together gift packs which include not only a full set of the stamps, but also the Legends of Cooking prestige book, the complete set of 5 maxi cards (postcards) and first day covers (collector’s item) and have graciously given me 10 of these to share with my readers.
If you want to get your hands on one of these great packs and begin your own stamp collection with a limited release item all I ask is that you leave a comment below telling us all just how these culinary inspirations have influenced your own time in the kitchen. Did Margaret Fulton set you down the path of good, home cooking all those years ago, has Maggie encouraged you to be a little less inflexible with a recipe, has Stephanie kept you sitting at the table poring over her magnificent tome, did Kylie help you master a new cuisine or did Neil just prompt you to tie your hair back ( )? We want to know it all!
I’ll accept comments from today until 12 noon (CST) Friday 14 February. I will draw the lucky winners at random and will notify them by email. If I don’t receive a return email from any winner within 48 hours, that prize will be redrawn. I have 10 (ten) prize packs to give away, but unfortunately must limit entry to Australian residents only.