Books & Literature

Book Review: Sourcing the Sauce, by Belinda Hannaford

MEMOIR: The world of Belinda Hannaford, chef extraordinaire, one-time pop star, and one of the most creative Australian event organisers of the last fifty years.

Being born into a life of privilege does not guarantee you will live a happy life.

Sourcing the Sauce delves into the life of it author, Belinda Hannaford who is most known for founding two iconic South Australian restaurants: Jolleys Boathouse in Adelaide, and The Fig Tree on Kangaroo Island. Belinda’s father was the manager of General Motors Holden manufacturing plant in Adelaide. Her mother, was a Myer model and movie actress. She grew up in a mansion on Robe Terrace with a nanny and live-in servants, and so Sourcing the Sauce gives the reader a glimpse into how the other half live.

The book is filled with snippets of Belinda’s life: the big moments that had an impact on who she was and who she would become. It includes her trip to Italy which inspired Jolleys Boathouse, her brief career as a sixties pop star, and her many restaurant and home renovations.

While there are some really interesting insights into her life – such as her time on Kangaroo Island, the creation of Jolleys Boathouse, and an American road trip with her daughter – some of the harder moments are glossed over. Examples include her serious car accident, sexual assault, and her relationship with her father. These first two events don’t reveal much about how she emotionally overcame such heartbreaking moments, whereas her relationship with her father speaks about the emotions but not enough about the experiences that caused such a relationship to develop. Belinda missed a key opportunity to offer her reader insight into overcoming similar struggles.

While Belinda’s intention was to share her life in the hope that it would inspire others to make sense of their own world, it instead becomes a reminder of what’s often forgotten. Being born into a life of privilege does not guarantee you will live a happy life, regardless of income or situation. It all comes down to your thoughts.

Growing up with emotionally distant parents, it’s not surprising Belinda has struggled with self-confidence and emotional intimacy with others. Her journey to self-discovery is detailed in each page however, her swipes at past wounds seem unnecessary, such as her dislike towards her ex-husband’s new wife and multiple mentions that her children dislike her. These give the impression she still has some issues to resolve.

This is an interesting read for those who have driven past the various mansions on Robe Terrace and want a glimpse into the lives of wealthy. It may also be worthwhile for those who are interested in South Australian history and how some of the most well-known restaurants in the State came to be.

Reviewed by Jessica Incoll
Twitter: @littlejadventur

Distributed by: Wakefield Press
Released: February 2020
RRP: $27.95

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