The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning: A Polar Journey (Hardcover)

The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning: A Polar Journey By Wendy Trusler, Carol Devine Cover Image

The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning: A Polar Journey (Hardcover)


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A visually captivating, novelistic travelogue that chronicles the first civilian environmental cleanup expedition in Antarctica—an engaging true story told through anecdotes, journal entries, vignettes, recipes, and archival and contemporary photography.

“The first thing that comes to mind about Antarctica is not likely the food. But if you are going there, it is the second.” —Wendy Trusler and Carol Devine

The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning is a unique journey through an austral summer, when a group of dedicated individuals—fifty-four people from five countries—picked up nearly three decades’ worth of garbage during a three-month period in Antarctica.

In this visually captivating polar journal, Wendy Trusler and Carol Devine transport readers back twenty years and thousands of miles to Bellinghausen, the Russian research station that became their temporary home. Devine, a humanitarian who piloted the project, and Trusler, a visual artist and cook, use journal entries, letters, provision lists, recipes, and menus to document their voyage. They share pithy, insightful observations on life, food, science, politics, and the environment. Showcased throughout are modern and vintage photos and vignettes from Antarctica’s short history—all of which add delightful color and warm detail to this unique book.

Trusler reveals the challenges of cooking in a makeshift kitchen during long, white nights at the bottom of the world. While the dozens of eco-tourists strive to help preserve the continent, she must figure out how to cook for all of them in the small camp kitchen, using limited ingredients. The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning includes forty-two eclectic, tasty, and hearty recipes tinged with Russian, Chinese, and South American influences, such as Honey Oatmeal Bread, Cheese Fondue, Great Wall Dumplings, Roasted Pepper Goulash with Smoked Paprika, Roast Leg of Pork, and Frozen Chocolate Cream. All beautifully photographed, these dishes reflect the expedition’s colorful cultural fabric and the astonishing raw beauty of their surroundings—a continent uniquely devoted to peace, cooperation, and science. 

Wendy Trusler is an interdisciplinary artist, designer, writer, and food stylist. The expedition cook in Antarctica, she is the author and stylist of the forty-two recipes in this book. For more than twenty years she has balanced her work as a cook and artist, cooking and catering, styling food for film and television, and developing her art practice driven by ideas related to ecology, continuity, and regeneration. She lives with her husband, son, and Shackleton the cat in Peterborough, Canada.

Carol Devine is a researcher, writer, activist, and humanitarian professional. She is strategic advisor to the Museum of AIDS that aims to open in 2017 in South Africa. She has also worked for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Rwanda, Southern Sudan, and East Timor and was MSF Canada's Access to Essential Medicines Campaigner, fighting for accessible, effective, and affordable medicines for developing countries. Carol created the Antarctic civilian clean-up expedition on which this book is based. She lives in Toronto.

“What a lovely, beautiful, wonderful book. Am immersing myself in it.” — Michael Ondaatje

“[This] account . . . is nourishing in all sorts of ways. Not just for the sumptuous recipes they include - good enough to make one take up litter-picking or penguin counting just to fit them all in - but for the day to day detail of deep-frozen existence.” — Bella Bathurst, for British Airway's High Life magazine

“Sometimes a book is just a book and sometimes a book is an entire experience in itself; it can cross several different senses before even being consumed by the mind. The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning is one such book.” — Cat Croteau, Women's Adventure magazine

“. . .should be of interest to everyone from armchair travelers, to adventurers, to environmentalists, and to foodies who will want to know how to re-create Antarctic cuisine at home (first, set yourself atop several miles of ice).” — Bob Payne, travel writer, former contributing editor, Condé Nast Traveler