October 2004

Starters
Shane Osborn

Shane Osborn is the talented chef and co-owner of Charlotte Street 's two Michelin starred Pied a Terre, a restaurant beloved of the expense account Gods that inhabit the area. You might think that this would therefore be classic gastro-porn - superb dishes that you struggle to recreate in your own kitchen but you'd be wrong. In the interests of science we tried a couple and the fact that they turned out so very well has more to do with Shane's skills than ours. Arranged by useful chapters - nibbles, quick and classy starters and 'posh' - these starters rarely require exotic ingredients or specialist equipment. What's more many can be 'up-sized' to main courses by following Shane's simple instructions. There's not one dish here that fails to get the juices flowing and David Loftus's photography is simply delicious. Highly recommended.

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Australian Wine Companion
Oz Clarke

Did you know Oz Clarke was nicknamed Oz as a result of his early cricketing skills? This guide to Australian Wines doesn't give us Oz's real name but otherwise is a mine of information on what has become the nation's favourite wine supplier. No longer known for being a famous Monty Python sketch 'Another good fighting wine is.etc', Australian wine has achieved the status, and sometimes the price, of many of the more famous European wines. This lavishly illustrated book is full of Oz's trademark enthusiasm, wit and clear writing. Evocative portraits of the key regions are embellished with details of classic and newer grape varieties and wine styles and the guide covers both well known and cult names.

Over 160 of the most important producers are profiled with up to the minute wine recommendations. Labels are clearly illustrated, making it easier to spot the wine you want on the shelves and each wine is discussed in an unpretentious yet informative way.

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