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Sophie Gray
Photo Credit: Photograph by Sophie Gray

Sophie Gray is the face of, and inspiration behind, destitute gourmet and the ‘dg’ series of cookery books and www.destitutegourmet.com. She is a popular speaker and teacher on food, family life and finances, and is a regular contributor to Food Magazine and Taste Magazine.

destitutegourmet has gathered an international ‘community’ of like-minded followers who Sophie communicates with daily through her Destitute-Gourmet Facebook page. She also engages with the cost-conscious global community via Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram; destitute gourmet has a Youtube channel and is about to release a money-saving phone app.

Sophie presents a local programme of live ‘taste everything’ demonstrations for groups of 100.

Her family-friendly recipes are easy to make, tasty, healthy and affordable, and frequently include gluten-free and dairy-free alternatives. Menu planning, smart shopping tips, how to use leftovers, and advice on eating in season are fundamentals. She is married to Richard, and they have two teenagers, Isabella and Jack. Sophie works fulltime communicating the destitute gourmet philosophy from their home in Auckland, New Zealand.

Kate Hawkesby, writing in Next, found that ‘Sophie’s passion for the real deal is compelling’, while Taste NZ summed up her approach when it said of Delicious: ‘more stylish cheap eats by the Queen of Mean … a tasty dinner in under 30 minutes, and without breaking the bank’.

In Live Well Spend Less, the ‘sassy but sensible’ (Bay of Plenty Times) Gray turns her attention to ways to save money in the household. Her timeless wisdom has never been more relevant than in this time of recession. As the Truth pointed out, these appealing, affordable recipes are ideal for anyone living on a budget — whether students, retirees, or flatters.

Reviewing Feed the Family for $15 or Less, the Waikato Times praised the ‘precise costings’ given, emphasising that economies and savings need not come at the cost of taste.

The Otago Daily Times summed up Delicious as ‘a delicious mix of family and a few slightly posher recipes for destitute gourmet entertaining’, while the Northern Advocate proclaimed Enjoy! offers the sort of meal that ‘looks posh, sounds complicated, but my 11-year-old son, Jack, can make it!’, Cuisine ruling it allows you to ‘dine like royalty on a pauper’s budget’.

Books by Sophie Gray

Destitute Gourmet

Modern tasty food that's quick and easy to make, with readily available and very affordable ingredients.

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Live Well Spend Less

Simple practical ways to save money in your household.

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More features

Lasagne soup with cheesy garlic melts

This hearty soup is a proper hug in a mug. The ricotta and Parmesan topping really fulfills the 'lasagne' promise, but if you don’t want to bother you can just top it with grated cheese and it’ll still be a winner. The super-cheesy garlicky toasties are a good addition to any tomatoey soup — or just eat them on their own!

Sophie Gray's top tips for a cracker Christmas

If you’re planning to head to the shops for a last-minute Christmas here's what destitute gourmet wants you to think about! 

Fudge cake slice

This recipe has been a fan favourite for over a decade. Cut it into slices for the kids or into tiny squares as a treat with your cuppa. It also freezes well, so you can stash a few squares away for when no one is looking.

Cook for mum this Mother’s Day!

We know it can be tricky to find the perfect recipe to make mum for Mother’s Day so we’ve put together this list of fantastic recipe ideas from some of our favourite cookbooks. Whether you’re looking for a cosy soup or a sweet treat, or something in between, we’ve got you covered!