Eating Heaven: Spirituality at the Table

Simon Carey Holt


People who bought Eating Heaven have also bought Simon’s previous book, God Next Door: Spirituality and Mission in the Neighbourhood.

Simon Carey Holt was interviewed by Rachael Kohn on Sunday 8 December for her program The Spirit of Things on ABC’s Radio National. If you would like to listen to the interview, click here (mp3 format).

EH launch cropped

Author Simon Carey Holt with friend and gardener Clare from Footscray who features in the book.

Eating Heaven was launched on Tuesday 8 October 2013 at Reader’s Feast Bookstore in Melbourne.

Click here to download your free pdf copy of the first chapter of Eating Heaven by Simon Holt.

Please note that this title is also available as an eBook (eISBN: 9780987428646). To purchase this title as an eBook, follow the instructions on our eBook page. You can also follow these direct links:

You can also read more articles by Simon on his ‘Eating Heaven’ blog.


Sitting down at a table to eat is an activity so grounded in the ordinary, so basic to the daily routines of life, we rarely ponder it beyond the simple inquiry, ‘What’s for dinner?’ However, scratch a little deeper and you discover in eating one of the most meaning-laden activities of our lives, one so immersed in human longing and relationship that it takes on sacred dimensions.

A trained chef, teacher, social researcher, minister of religion and homemaker, Simon Carey Holt draws on experience and research to explore the role of eating in our search for meaning and community. To do so, he invites us to sit at the tables of daily life – from kitchen tables to backyard barbecues, from cafe tables to the beautifully set tables of Melbourne’s finest restaurants – and consider how our life at these tables interacts with our deepest values and commitments.


Kate BracksWinner, Masterchef Australia 2011:

This easy-to-read commentary on the everyday ritual of eating has evoked memories I’d long forgotten and simultaneously allowed me to sit at others’ tables for a while.  I’ve pondered the relationship between food and community, questioned my approach to the tables at which I sit, felt the warmth of each eating experience leap  from the pages, and reveled in the ‘realness’ of it all.

Hugh Mackay – Social researcher and author:

In a highly readable blend of the anecdotal and the scholarly, Simon Holt has demonstrated why ‘grazing with the herd’ is such a universal human practice. Our nature is relentlessly, essentially social, and the table – whether in cafe, home or church – is the place where our need of each other is most poignantly expressed.

Tim Costello – CEO, World Vision Australia:

‘Eating Heaven’ is a soulful reflection by a man who savours Melbourne as a city. He explores it through the way people share food and table together. Through stories, reflections and recipes, he warms the heart, feeds the body and nourishes the soul.

Lin Hatfield Dodds – National Director, UnitingCare Australia:

Who doesn’t have a checkered relationship with food? Buying it, eating it, cleaning up after it. We live in a culture increasingly obsessed with ‘food porn’  but divorced from an awareness of food as a daily ritual of connection and meaning. Simon Holt cuts through the froth and bubble to sit us down at a series of tables in which the gathered experience of sharing a meal is the key to reflecting on the good life. Family, culture, community, and place are  illuminated through the lens of a coffee, a meal, a feast. Eating Heaven manages to simultaneously ground and elevate, bringing the sacred back into the everyday. It is a  book for everyone who eats and wants to think a little about this daily, often unexamined, activity.  Eating Heaven will restore your fai