Win a copy of Bistro Officina’s new cookbook: Farm to Flame

A winner has now been chosen for this giveaway – thanks for entering!

There’s no question that the Southern Highlands we moved to 8 years ago has changed a lot from then until now (and for the better!) There has been such an improvement of shops and of course cafes and restaurants that are showcase our amazing local produce and producers. It’s been exciting to watch and of course enjoy!

One of those places that has been of real interest to me has been Bistro Officina which opened in Bowral in 2016 who took over space in the once daggy Berida Manor and made the space cool again. Awarded a Good Food Guide hat in 2017 and 2018, chef Nicola Coccia’s food is inspired by memory, family and nature. Rob and I have been a few times for special occasions to enjoy the amazing regional Italian paired with fabulous wines. Whenever you dine there you feel a part of something special: of course great food and produce showcasing the best of the Southern Highlands, but more than that: a cool vibe, a feeling that hasn’t hit the Highlands before that makes you pay attention and want to go back again and again. It makes you feel like you aren’t in Bowral and sometimes down here, that can be a good thing!

As a child in Italy, Nicola Coccia was surrounded by food. In a family of farmers, cheese makers, fishermen, and cooks, good food was not just nourishment, it was a structure by which to live and a way to understand and respect the cycles of nature and the importance of family. An affinity with food became a career, taking Nicola into the kitchens of some of Europe’s top restaurants, where he spent ten years sharpening his skills as a fine dining chef. In 2010, Nicola moved to Australia and spent five years cooking at Sydney institutions  Otto, Ormeggio, and Quay. After his marriage to Alexandra, a weekend trip to Bowral in the NSW Southern Highlands resulted in a move to the countryside and a reconnection with the natural environment he missed. 

Nico has just launched his first cookbook Farm to Flame where he uses fresh, local produce and cooking with fire as fuel, Farm to Flame’s 70 recipes are a balance of simple, family meals cooked on the farms of his favourite Southern Highlands producers and menu highlights from the restaurant. 

And thanks to Stef at Quicksand Food who has brought us a number of books from this area and Canberra and the Illawarra, I have a signed copy of this fabulous new book to giveaway to one lucky reader!

With only fire as fuel, Bistro Officina’s food takes memory and nature as its inspiration and leads diners on a journey through the streets of Naples, to the coast of Puglia, across kitchens in Europe and Sydney, and into the serene Southern Highlands environment. 

To win this signed book all I need you to do is leave a comment below telling me why you’d like it. Perhaps you have been and want to recreate one of the dishes at home? Maybe you are just a cookbook lover and would love to try something new? Maybe it’s the perfect Christmas just for YOU that you want just because!

Just leave me a comment below and I will draw the winner out and get it sent out to you this coming Friday. The giveaway is open from 7am on Tuesday 11th December until 9pm 13th December and will be sent out to the winner on Friday. Open to Australian residents only. The book is worth $59.95.

You can check out the full range of amazing books available online here and get buying if you just want to get your mitts on one of these Farm to Flame books right now!


  1. Karla Carey says

    This would make the perfect birthday/christmas present for my husband who loves to cook on the campfire.

  2. We have just done THE MOVE!! From town to 69 glorious acres in the middle of nowhere and loving it. I just know i will be able to lure people out to the sticks with Nonna’s Meatballs 🙂 Exactly the cooking scenario i dreamt of when deciding to move out here. Beautiful book x

  3. 13 year old grandson has been cooking for years and is very good at it. He follows recipes well and can make up his own. At least once a week he cooks dinner for the five of us here, plans a menu and does all shjopping needed. I now live in an intergeneration household with me, two sons, DIL and grandson, sometimes granddaughter too, and we take turns in cooking dinner.
    He is especially good with BBQ and brines and smokes many meats on several smokers, all woodburning. He would love this book and we would love what he cooks from it. It would be a great encouragement to him.

  4. I have a serious cookbook addiction, I also have an Italian husband. I’m sure he would find lots of things he would like us to try

  5. Because it looks like a great book, that could be the just the kick I need to get my cooking mojo back.
    cheers Kate

  6. I would LOVE to win a copy of this book for Christmas! This would be a gift for myself (unapologetically selfish about that!) because in the madness that is Christmas/ Mum life/ Work life, we ladies very rarely take time out to just sit and savour a beautiful cookbook and lose ourselves in the pages! We are a foodie family and are always looking for new inspiration..We adore Italian cuisine and Nicola’s food journey sounds like an amazing read!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family Beth and all of your lovely readers xx

  7. My boyfriend and I visited Bistro Officina over the Christmas holidays last year (2017) and had a wonderful time. It was our first holiday together and he had never eaten in a place as wonderful as that. The food was divine and the character typical of a real Italian restaurant. We both adored it and our waiter was so charming. I would love to recreate that moment in time for him… although sadly without our charming waiter.

  8. Karen Bittner says

    I have collected cookbooks for many years and also use the Recipekeeper app for online recipes. I do actually cook the recipes! I love trying new recipes, I am fearless, I will try any recipe. Otto in Brisbane is my favourite Brisbane restaurant, I love the pure honesty of the food, it is authentic.
    I grew up in my German Grandmother’s kitchen with a wood fire stove, that’s where I learnt my passion for cooking and enjoying food with family. I would like to continue this tradition.

  9. I am a total cookbook lover and am trying to be a bit more mindful about what ingredients to use – I have a tendency to add EVERYTHING.

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