Antonio Carluccio is one of the best chefs of all time. He was been featured
on BBC and has a little restaurant in Covent Garden, London which I would
frequent. He supplies truffles (and other foods) to Prince Charles, uses
fresh, mostly organic ingredients in all of his meal preparation.
His food is very expensive (I've been known to spend over $100 on a few
items) but is simply amazing. I have never tasted anything so delicious and
authentically Italian, even his breads are incredible and unique. There is one
bread with rosemary, saltanas and celtic sea salt on top which I thought
would be a poor combination but every week, I kept going back for more!
His restaurant is lovely, he does take away and catering. I used to order a
vegetable lasagne from him which he would prepare himself especially and
lend the dish he baked it in to us so, if we were having a dinner party, it's all
ready to go.
What I like is the his confidence. He sells the recipes to his menu items right
in his store confident that, even though you can cook them yourself, you will
keep coming back for more.... and we always did!
This book is full of great photos and not just of food but of Italy too. It has
the excellent illustrated recipes covering the following groups:
- Fish and Shelfish;
- Eggs, Poultry & Game;
- Fresh & Cured Meats;
- Vegetables & Pulses;
- Rice & Grains;
- Oils, Vinegars, Herbs, Spices & Flavourings
- Dairy Products;
- Fruit & Nuts;
- Breads & Baking; and
- Wines & Liqueurs.
Antonio has obviously put a lot of time and effort into his books as is evident
from the layout and especially, his writing style. He goes into everything in
great detail including the origins and interesting stories. He talks in depth
about fungi for example, about how the Italians hunt for fun and, every now
and then, despite cautions there is a fatality from poison fungi and so on.
One almost feels as if they are in Italy when enjoying this book.
You will find the most exquisite and authentic Italian recipes in here fit for
weddings, corporate entertaining, party catering or just an impressive and
nutritious family dinner. My favourites are the Vincisgrassi (Vegetable
Lasagne) and the Peperoni Ripieni (Stuffed Peppers). He, not only caters to
taste, but to nutrition as well. You simply have to try this food as it is difficult
to describe the perfection.
LAYOUT & EASE OF READING:
The book is perfect with illustrations breaking up the text. It is very easy to
read and most enjoyable. I appreciated learning about the origins of
different foods and the history behind the meals. I also found reading more
about the Italian culture intereting. All in all, I have absolutely no complaints
as to the layout, readability or structure of this book. The recipes were (as I
said above) very easy to follow.
I never buy a recipe book without photos, I find that is the most enjoyable
part... looking at the pictures and deciding from that, what I feel like for
dinner or whether a certain meal would be good for a certain occasion. This
book hasn't deviated at all from what I would desire (photography wise) in a
cookbook. There are very interesting photos of various Italian locations,
meals and the preparation. For example, there is a step by step
photographic section on how Mozzarella cheese is made and shaped, photos
of how tomatoes are sundried and other interesting details.
"Italian food is about flavour, something that has sadly disappeared from
much of our mass-produced food in recent years. It is about ripe fruit picked
off the tree and eaten while still warm from the sun, fish straight from the
water, wine made with genuine local grapes and matured in seasoned
wooden barrels, organic vegetables just dug from richly manured fields with
the earth still clinging to their roots. This is not a romantic version, it is how
our food should be!"
This book is a must buy! I would recommend it to all lovers of Italian
gourmet food... I have never tasted an equal. I have enjoyed this book so
much that I am going to purchase the rest of his series and I recommend
this one with my utmost confidence that you will enjoy it considerably.
Click here to Buy Carluccio's Complete Italian Food