Our interview with Kim McCosker from 4 Ingredients

Our interview with Kim McCosker from 4 Ingredients

By Clare Sultmann

dear molly founder Clare Sultmann sits down for a one-on-one with international best selling author, TV presenter, international speaker, motivator and award-winning businesswoman, Kim McCosker founder and author of 4 Ingredients. With close to 9 million copies sold across the 4 Ingredients titles, Kim McCosker shares her story from a humble start to international success.


Kim, you have a background in finance. How did you come to write a cookbook?


Answer: It was pre-GST, pre- millennium, pre texting. It was boom times. The more I worked, and the harder I worked, the better I did. I would finish work at the end of a long day working in the money markets and I would race home. I was racing all the time. You know, all the things we mothers have to do.  Walking the dog needed doing, there was homework to do; dinner to make and the list goes on. Suddenly it’s 6:10pm on a Wednesday evening and all the recipe books I have in the kitchen call out for 16 or more ingredients and I just don’t have that time, or the ingredients in my cupboard. I just needed the world’s easiest cookbook and I couldn’t’ find one. On maternity leave with my second child I wrote 4 Ingredients. It grew out of a personal need. I needed that book in my kitchen at 6:00pm on a Wednesday night. It was the kitchen tool I needed.


Kim, have you always had an interest in cooking?


Answer:  I actually grew up in a small country town called Mundubbera. The closest city is Bundaberg, some 200kms away. My mum and grandmother were great cooks. They could fashion something out of nothing. Food was always central to my life growing up.  So yes, I always had an interest in it. 


Why 4 Ingredients?


Answer: When I started to write a simple cookbook, I called my mum, my nana, my aunt, tennis mates of mum and asked what you can make with a few ingredients. They were all great cooks so I knew I was going to the right place to ask. They shared their repertoire of ideas. It became apparent quite quickly that you could cook most things with only 4 or less ingredients. Trusted favourites such as apple pie and cupcakes can made on only 4 ingredients.


I have also found that having fewer ingredients involved in cooking simplifies things and when you simplify things you are saving time and money and thus avoiding stress and anxiety.


You started out with 2000 books in your living room but since then you have sold nearly 9 million copies of your books across the 4 Ingredients titles. How did you do it?


On the 17 March 2007, a lorry pulled up at my house. It had 4 palette loads of cookbooks, which were being dropped to my house. I had no money, no PR, no press. I self-published the book. I learnt quickly that I needed a marketing plan. So I turned to Google and up skilled myself on the art of marketing. I became the marketer because no one can sell your product better than you. I wrote an initial press release and sent it out to local radio stations. I followed up. I chased the interview. I never gave up. For 2 years I undertook a gruelling marketing campaign. I worked the phones like there was no tomorrow. The marketing drove sales, which in turn turned into a book tour, book signings, cooking classes and so forth.


I was incredibly motivated, as I wanted to repay my family for the monies they had lent me to self publish the book. That drove me on. 


The biggest lesson you have learnt along the way.


Answer: One of the biggest lessons I have learnt is never taking no for an answer. As soon as you take an idea that is new or different or contrary to popular belief everyone will tell you it won’t work. ‘No’ only means ‘no’ today.  Keep knocking down that door. If you are single-minded in that purpose and ‘no’ is the answer, then find another way. I liken starting a business to running a marathon. You need determination, tenacity and an abundance of passion.


Tell us more about your latest book, the Pet Cookbook.


Answer: A lot of people have asked me over the years about recipes for our little furry friends. After doing some research I found out that there are over 4.4 million dogs in Australia, 3.2 million cats. Experts predict that there are probably closer to 20 million pets in our homes in Australia if we include guinea pigs and birds and other animals.


When I was undertaking research I went to my FB page and asked if anyone would be interested in a pet cookbook. The response was overwhelming.


The pet cookbook is more than just a cookbook. All recipes are allergy aware and there is so much useful information, which it contains, for the pet owner. Things like what ingredients you have in your pantry, what you could give them and what you should avoid giving them, along with helpful facts and ideas on who to look after your pet.


Where can you purchase the Pet Cookbook?


Answer: You can purchase on my website and also through Myer, Big W, Kmart, Booktopia and all good book stores.  


What does the future hold for Kim and 4 Ingredients?


I have more books in the pipeline. More collaboration with big companies. International exposure is on the cards. I’d like to expand my markets beyond Australia.

“PET COOKBOOK is a tremendous guide for those wanting to add home cooked treats to the regular diet of their pets.”
Dr Glen Richards BVSc. Co-founder Greencross Vet & Petbarn Empires.

Kim's latest release, the PET COOKBOOK has over 60 recipes that are full of variety for dogs, cats, with special chapters for birds and chickens plus guinea pigs. Know exactly what is in pet food and where it came from by keeping control on their diet, as what works for your pet will show in their coat and cleaner end results! 

Buy your copy here -

Kim McCosker

4 Ingredients Author and entrepreneur Kim McCosker brings her amazing story to life, to inspire audiences and amaze them with her simple, hard working and determined recipe for success. Kim’s light hearted and warm approach and her natural ease with people make her a favourite with audiences of all sizes and from all walks of life. Her enthusiasm and energy for sharing her passions in life and food is infectious.

Educated on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Kim attended Star of the Sea Catholic High School and Griffith University, completing a degree in International Finance in 1998. Kim trained with MLC as a Financial Planner completing her Diploma in Financial Planning through Deakin University in 2000 and then working as the Queensland State Manager of MLC Private Client Services. Kim worked for 7 years in the finance industry before finally resigning to spend time raising her beautiful boys.

It was during this period that 4 Ingredients came into being. Kim had conceived the idea years earlier, but it was at the suggestion of her lifelong friend, Rachael Bermingham, they write it. In 2007 they authored and self-published (as no publisher was interested) the first book, which was to become Australia’s best selling non-fiction book that year, 2008 and 2009. Audiences are enthralled by Kim’s extraordinary story as she reveals how it all started from 2,000 books in the lounge room and rose to be the international phenomenon 4 Ingredients is today. This real David and Goliath tale is not only engaging but inspiring too, and it’s far from over.

Clare Sultmann

Clare Sultmann is a wife, mother of 3 and the founder of Dear Molly.
As a survivor of a catastrophic accident, former barrister at law, published author, and nationally accredited mediator Clare has returned to work in a different capacity. Relocating to Noosa shortly after the birth of her first child, Clare found it difficult to make meaningful and real connections with other like-minded women away from her own network of friends. With this in mind, Clare’s idea was born. Dear Molly aims to provide connections for like-minded women in a real, meaningful and positive manner. It a platform to share, communicate and inspire other women about their ‘real’ life.

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