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The Spice and Herb Bible – by Ian Hemphill

Spice & Herb COVER high res

A good gin wouldn’t be the same without the aromatic flavour of juniper, and a Christmas pudding minus the allspice would be nothing. Do you know which herb or spice does what and why? Did you know that dieting is made easier when you can flavour your breakfast of plain poached eggs with a bit of tabasco and coriander.

Ian ‘Herbie’ Hemphill is an Australian foodie legend. He and his family have been educating us about spices and herbs for over 50 years. His latest book, The Spice and Herb Bible, is the ultimate reference book on herbs and spices and will be published around the world in October.

Cooks in the know understand that spices don’t necessarily equate to heat and rather use spices and herbs to enhance food flavours and to create new taste combinations and sensations. From bay leaves to lemon myrtle to vanilla beans, a well-stocked kitchen must have a wide selection of herbs and spices.

This expanded and completely revised new edition is the culmination of Ian Hemphill’s lifelong experience in the spice industry. It is a fascinating and authoritative guide. Ian describes a wide range of global herbs and spices used in modern kitchens either alone or in wonderful blends. He completely demystifies the art of combining herbs and spices and home cooks can meet and enjoy a world of flavours previously found only at internationally inspired restaurants. He provides the “inside story” based on his extensive experience in this ancient and stimulating industry.

This edition features new spice entries and blends, and 125 new recipes by Kate, Ian’s daughter who has her own food consulting business in the UK. Ian has expanded his spice blending section using explanations that are clear and easy to use. There is also a new and fascinating section, “Travels in the Spice Trade,” that includes his personal anecdotes and travel stories.

All the entries are listed alphabetically with a detailed colour photo of every herb and spice. There are also comprehensive and handy storage suggestions with details for every herb and spice.

Ian Hemphill, a native of Sydney, Australia, oversees Herbie’s Spices, which boasts the largest selection of herbs and spices for sale and export. His website is

Kate Hemphill is a chef, food writer, recipe developer and consultant, who lives in London.