Book Reviews

Real Family Food - Anthony Worrall Thompson

real family foodOff the telly and into your kitchen comes the Wozza bringing you good ideas for you and especially your kids. Worrall Thompson sort of lost his place in the TV chef rankings, coming off the prestigious evening shift. where there is an air of respectability, and instead mixing it with Joe and Joanna public on daytime TV. In fact whenever you peek guiltily at daytime TV the chances are you’ll see him or Ainsley Herriot - sometimes they are even on the same shows!

So it makes sense for him to do a family cookbook. He’s a dad himself and you can imagine he’s an avuncular one, the sort of father who is never without a Werther’s Original to offer around. Actually though, in his intro he makes it clear that his kids only get sweets once a week.

Dishes are arranged around Breakfast, Lunch (and lunchboxes), After School dinners and Weekend dinners, as well as barbeques and picnics too. It’s a unique way of making a cookbook and every recipe also gets a red, amber or green health light in the margin to suggest how often they should be eaten. Many of the recipes wouldn’t be out of place at an adult dinner, which is the whole point. Worrall-Thompson believes meal times are family times and it shouldn’t be impossible for everyone to eat the same thing. Some families may see that as an impossible dream, but it’s how we used to live and families were probably the better for it.

He also understands nutrition and he explains in simple terms which are the best foods for slow burn, energy, sport, study or relaxation. Plus he shows good tips or getting kids into cooking and making nutrition fun.

Nicely pitched between the middle class lectures of Nigella and St Jamie’s rather pompous pronouncements, this is a very workable family cookbook written by a likeable working father.

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La Dolce Vita - Ursula Ferrigno

La Dolse VitaLife certainly is sweet for Italians.  That’s the idea behind Ursula Ferrigno’s latest cookbook, La Dolce Vita: Sweet things from the Italian home kitchen

Ferrigno has gone through the arduous process of sorting through hundreds of Italian dessert recipes in order to create a collection of Italy’s most celebrated desserts.  From traditional panna cotta and zabaglione to an inventive recipe called “Chocolate Salami”

The book is conveniently divided into sections: puddings, tarts and pastries, ices, cakes, biscuits, sweets, and breads.  However, the nicest part of this cookbook is Ferrigno’s simple approach. The photographs make you feel like you’re standing at the counter of an Italian pastry shop but the recipes, usually just five steps long and made from common ingredients, are so easy to follow that you don’t mind baking for yourself. In fact, some of the recipes, like the one for Mrs Ferrigno’s Meringues, look easy enough to make as a substitute for chocolate chip cookies.

With its approachable attitude and enjoyable outlook on Italian life, La Dolce Vita looks like a good gift for the Christmas season. (Especially if the chef likes to share!)


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Wine Places: The Land, the Wine, the People - Charles O’Rear

Wine PlacesAfter twenty-five years of travelling around the world as a National Geographic photo journalist, Charles O’Rear has gathered a stunning collection of viticulture inspired prints.  With over 225 photographs, this anthology pays tribute to some of the world’s most astounding wine-producing regions in Europe, North and South America.  O’Rear’s passion for the art of wine making is evident in the stunning photographs that tell the silent story of those in the wine-making industry. 

The title of the book pays homage to the territories in which grapes and people intermingle and create a wine culture.  O’Rear’s fervour for wine is dramatically captured in poignant shots depicting the bounty of a harvest: plump and juicy grapes ready for the picking in California; hidden cellars in Chile, stocked and set for bottling; cork forests in Portugal yielding a fortune in the substance.      

The story behind the book follows the series of events in the production of wine over a one year period.  It also illustrates the impetus for the choices each vintner makes—from locale of the winery and harvest time to the cellar and the final tasting. The selection of photos vividly captures the differences in landscapes, types of vineyards, wines and processes of production from around the world. 

An informative narrative gives life to the story behind the scenes.  Written by advanced sommelier and certified wine and sherry educator David Furer, it is a detailed account of the wine-making process.  Included in the book is a world map displaying the various regions from which the photographs are taken.  Perfect as a holiday gift for the wine lover who will appreciate the dazzling scenes and be completely fascinated by the intricate descriptions of the process. 


Buy Now At Amazon and save 30%

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