When I heard that the in-the-know people behind Facebook group Lazy Susan were putting together a new book, I eagerly expected the next instalment of Auckland Eats, another up-to-the-minute volume revealing the new hot tickets on Auckland’s food scene and recipes to create your favourites at home. But, recognising that today’s successes stand on the shoulders of giants, they have taken a neat swerve, nay a full U-turn, to look back to the stars and stalwarts that went before (specifically the period 1970–2000), some of which still exist today. This period saw the coming of age of Auckland’s hospitality and dining scenes, a time of huge change with new ingredients, new cuisines, new faces and new places to go, and a new generation of people full of enthusiasm and ideas to show you the way. Here are the stories of the risk-takers, the groundbreakers and the entrepreneurs, without whom today’s hospitality scene might be radically different: stories of places such as Antoines, Ramses, Cibo and Prego, and people such as Tony Astle, Tonči Farac, Judith Tabron, Ray McVinnie and Simon Gault. From the splash-the-cash 1980s are tales of serving 45 cases of Champagne a week at Cin Cin on Quay, and the media, advertising and TV luvvies ensconced at Prego with the company credit card in the days before the GFC spoiled the fun. Rose-tinted it certainly is, and it provokes a somewhat queasy feel of industry insiders reminiscing about their mates in the good old days. Not a cookbook – although it does have recipes – it’s a mix of social history, gossip column and nostalgia album. TRACY WHITMEY