The Project

The Barossa Cookery Book

The Barossa Cookery Book was first published in 1917 and is one of Australia’s oldest community cookbooks.  It is an iconic publication in its own right, but it’s also incredibly regionally significant.  Our project captures a curated selection of 85 timeless recipes and is passing them forward to a new generation.  We’ve translated them to metric and given them a full modern method.  We will also tell the story of the woman who first contributed the recipe, and recognise her quiet contribution to our community

What are we doing?

Those Barossa Girls Pickling Workshop

The Barossa Cookery Book is an iconic and historic cookery book that snapshots home and community life in war-era Barossa.  Initially conceived as a community fundraiser to establish the Tanunda Soldiers Memorial Hall, it was first published in 1917 with 400 recipes contributed by women across the community.  A revised edition was released in 1932, with a further 600 recipes added.

Since 1932 the Barossa Cookery Book with its 1000 recipes and original line drawing cover has remained in constant print, and the proceeds still maintain the original building.  The Tanunda Soldiers Memorial Hall is now also known as the Barossa Regional Gallery.

The project will identify historic recipes that hold particular significance or resonance and will update them to modern metric format with a full method.  Where possible, the story of the woman who contributed the recipe will also feature alongside. The new book will serve as a companion to the original book, not a replacement.  Our aim is to reconnect people to the Barossa Cookery Book and for them to understand it’s value and importance.

Maggie Beer is contributing to the book, and has written the foreword.  Angela Heuzenroeder is also contributing to the intro passages.

Why are we doing it?

Food memories are powerful things.   With one bite a favourite recipe can instantly ground us in a previous time or place, so it’s no secret that food memories have the potential to create an incredibly powerful and popular book.

But it’s not just about popularity; These recipes are precious snapshots in time, candidly preserving a country at war, as well as themes of frugality and seasonality.   This historic cookbook captures the essence of what it means to live and eat in the Barossa.  It’s recipe and themes are timeless. However, modern cooks find the imperial recipes with their vague method difficult to understand and approach.  To give them renewed appeal they need to be rewritten in modern, metric format.

But it’s also about the contributors.  We have no living memories of the despair, the grief, the loss and destruction of WW1, but it shaped our communities and in turn the country we became.  These were ordinary women living normal lives, yet their quiet stories of commitment, devotion and love deserve to be heard.  In 1917 when the world was dark these women were beacons of hope, strength and light for their families and community.  Our project exists for them.

Stay in touch with Those Barossa Girls & the Barossa Cookery Book project

Why are we the people to do it?

Commitment and motivation can be fickle masters, but we have both in spades.  We are passionate about our regional history and want to see it preserved.  Working together we have spent four years meticulously researching and carefully writing this publication.

Sheralee Menz has a BA with a major in English Lit, and after a career in PR and communication, now holds a sales and marketing role with a heritage Barossa orchard.  With a German heritage that saw her great grandparents married in a Barossa church in 1886, she has the generational kudos for this project.  Sheralee takes all the historical data and weaves it into stories of life, love and community connection, telling the life stories of the women who contributed to the Barossa Cookery Book.

Marieka Ashmore is an enormously experienced health care professional with the ability to care for people and make them feel instantly comfortable.  She is a warm and friendly people-person who can chat for hours about orange cake and recipe books.  Baking is her love language. She is an enthusiastic amateur historian who loves diving down historic rabbit holes to unearth fascinating family stories and community connections.

Together we are Those Barossa Girls.  After being asked to collaborate on a project for BGWA that presented Barossa’s food heritage it was instantly clear that we shared a passion and a vision for history, food memories, and the power of combining the two.  From that point, Those Barossa Girls was born.  Re-inventing the beautiful and iconic Barossa Cookery Book has been a labour of love, and with our shared strengths in research, community connections and communication we are excited to finalise this publication.

We regularly appear on ABC radio North and West with monthly interviews on the morning show.  These conversations are broadcast live across regional South Australia.  We love regional communities and events and are often engaged to speak at shows and field days.  We have made several TV appearances and have worked as heritage food consultants on movie sets. We are both experienced show judges who support the Tanunda Show, Angaston Show and Royal Adelaide Show.

You will find Those Barossa Girls on social media:



And in a video produced by Barossa Wine

What will it look like and when will it be released?

The book will be a high-quality publication with full colour and high res food photography.  Each recipe has been converted, tested and fully edited into a modern format.  Each contributor story will feature historic photographs and full graphic design.  We are working with nationally recognised editors John Harms and Joanne Holliman, and experienced cookbook designer Kirby Armstrong. Barossa local Sarah Frost is our food stylist and photographer who has produced beautiful images.  The book will be published in Adelaide by Finsbury Press.

Anticipated release date for the book is early November 2024.

Why do we need support?

At its heart, this is a community project.

This project has taken an enormous voluntary investment of time and energy, and we have worked incredibly closely with families and community organisations to create this body of work. It is also important to us to honour the intent of the original cookbook, so a portion of all proceeds will go back to the Tanunda Soldiers Memorial Hall (Barossa Regional Gallery).

We are so passionate about this project and it will be printed regardless of funds raised.  But without funding it will take us many more years to cover costs.  Donated funds will allow us to deliver this beautiful book to our intended time frame.  There are multiple levels of sponsorship available, from full corporate packages through to a go-fund-me campaign.  A pre-sale campaign will also be opened closer to book launch.  There is an opportunity to support us at any level.

The project has worked in close collaboration with Barossa Council and the Regional Gallery. All funds are transparently held in Trust.  The BCB Project Trust has a formal legacy clause that ensures the Tanunda Soldiers Memorial Hall is a protected benefactor.

To donate to our go-fund-me campaign, Here:

Interested in signing up to the pre-release mailing list, with exclusive access when the book is released?  Sign up below.

Need more info?  Sure.  Email us at  or phone us on 0408637385.  We’d love to chat.


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Marieka & Sheralee

Marieka & Sheralee are Those Barossa Girls

We’re two Barossa girls with a love of preserving, heritage recipes and traditional food skills.
Let us inspire you.