Discover The Secret Ingredient with Chloe Shorten

The power of the family table

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<i>The Secret Ingredient</i> by Chloe Shorten

The Secret Ingredient by Chloe Shorten [©Penguin Books]


Chloe Shorten – daughter of the former Governor-General, and a politician's wife – shows how eating together as a family offers more than a meal: it can nourish relationships and nurture your children.

Chloe reveals ways to encourage the connections we make at the family table. She shares her tried-and-true recipes from family, friends and neighbours across Australia: her mum Dame Quentin Bryce’s popular lasagne, icon Wendy McCarthy’s perfect roast chicken and a chocolate cake so divine it has been served in restaurants.

"f you’ve ever had to call your kids to the table again and again, you know dinnertime is a big commitment," says Chloe Shorten.

"When I was doing research for my book on stepfamilies I discovered a lot of evidence backing up what every parent instinctively knows: that sitting down for regular meals together has huge benefits for kids, everything from their emotional wellbeing to their academic performance."

"Unfortunately, in the busy lives of modern Australia, where both parents often work long hours, family meals are becoming less common. As the mum of two teenagers, plus a seven-year-old and with a husband who travels a lot, I wrote this book to share some of the evidence and to pass on experiences and recipes from my family and friends that might help more of us sit down together, more often."

The Secret Ingredient invites you to bring the remarkable power of the family meal into your home.

"I hope people enjoy reading it, I hope they try the recipes and I hope they send me some new ones!"

About the author

Chloe Shorten grew up in a family of five children and two working parents that valued regularly gathering for meals. Now as a parent of three and wife of Bill Shorten, the federal Labor leader, she relishes bringing her family together for everyday meals, feasts and celebrations.

She is also the author of Take Heart: A Story for Modern Stepfamilies.

The Secret Ingredient by Chloe Shorten is published by Melbourne University Publishing (Melb, Victoria; Apr 2018; pb; 277pp; RRP A$39.99). It is available at good bookshops or directly from the publisher »

It can also be purchased online via »

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May 15th, 2018
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