Saucy gourmet Peta Mathias shares dark and delicious love stories from around the world


Eat Your Heart Out: Love Stories from Around the World by Peta Mathias
Published by Penguin Random House NZ, hardback, 05 November 2019, RRP: $35.00

‘All you need is love,’ sang the Beetles. Right now, in a world of hate speech, online bullying and worse, we could all do with a lot more love. Gourmet traveller Peta Mathias has the answer. She has seen and heard countless lovelorn tales over the years, and experienced a few of her own. We won’t talk about the b******* she has  known. More recently, Peta has immersed herself in love stories through the ages and discovered romance, poetry, passion, lust and murder, in all sorts of exotic, far-flung places.

Told with her characteristic wit and irreverence, Peta dishes the ‘dirt’ about the psychosis of love, including baffling courtship rituals – who knew about the apple slice dance? – macabre coupling, literary liaisons, love poetry, the intriguing language of flowers, and more. From Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and beyond, Peta enchants and captivates, with spell-binding stories of love and loss.

As ever, food features strongly in Eat Your Heart Out: Love Stories from Around the World and Peta doesn’t disappoint, with talk of swooning, alluring aphrodisiacs, romantic recipes – think chocolate, oysters, artichokes – and many other delicacies. Roaming through Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Americas and the Pacific Rim, Peta shares her favourite love stories, including the story of Henry the swan and Thomas the goose on New Zealand’s Kāpiti Coast.

Peta also reveals her own experiences of love and how it is so often intertwined with food. ‘The connection between love and food is unavoidable. ‘One day in the 1980s in my restaurant in Paris I made a flourless almond and chocolate torte. This became the most popular dessert I ever served in my restaurant, and I almost married someone after having eaten it,’ says Peta.

Eat Your Heart Out is Peta Mathias at her irreverent best – wildly entertaining, informative, hilarious and just a little bit wicked – welcome to a feast beyond your wildest imagining. You’ll never think about love in the same way again.

Peta Mathias MNZM is a respected and prolific New Zealand chef, author and broadcaster, who conducts gastronomic tours to such exotic places as France, Morocco, Spain, Vietnam, Italy and India. She lives in the South of France in the French summer, teaching cooking classes in her Uzès home and lives in Auckland in the New Zealand summer, writing and avoiding winter. For 12 years Peta presented the award-winning prime time travel/food television shows Taste New Zealand, Taste Takes Off and A Taste of Home. Her many books are about food, travel, life, men, women, love and explaining how egg whites can transform your life. In 2012 Peta was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit by the New Zealand Government in recognition of her work as an author and TV presenter. For more, go to:

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