This is a book with a very strong sense of place; the south of the title is Southland, the Southern Lakes and Otago, specifically Queenstown where Jonathan Rogers is head chef at the luxururious Matakauri Lodge. Luscious and gorgeous describe not only the food, but also the photos by Martin Kohn (nature) and Patrick Dodson (food), who mix landscapes effortlessly with hero shots of sumptuous produce and artful and well-mannered dishes. Make no mistake this is a serious book of restaurant-standard food – recipes are highly crafted, multi-stage performances and, to be honest, a world away from what most of us probably want to cook for ourselves. But for the sheer prettiness, search out the buttermilk pannacotta with salmon roe or Fiordland venison, nettle and quail yolk. The influence of the luxury lodge also shows in the ingredients (and the cover price!) with truffles, quail, venison, scallops and pheasant all making more than one appearance. If you are the sort of cook that enjoys spending hours, or even days, in the kitchen to create a spoonful of an undoubtedly delicious and definitely good-looking canapé then grab your tweezers, this is for you. For myself, I’ll be saving up to book into the lodge and let Jonathan do it for me. Available from Matakauri Lodge or TRACY WHITMEY