{ A LIT­TLE FOOD FLIGHT READ­ING }

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Destination Malaysia - MICHELLE ROWE SU­SAN KURO­SAWA MICHELLE ROWE MICHELLE ROWE

Humphry Slo­combe Ice Cream Book Jake Godby and Sean Va­hey with Paolo Luc­ch­esi (Hardie Grant, $27.95) IT’S a brave (or fool­hardy) pub­lisher that puts out a book on ice cream when we’re reach­ing for the ther­mal un­der­wear, but this is not just any old tome on frozen treats. For a start, its fore­word be­gins with this rather off-putting mes­sage from its au­thors: ‘‘Hey bitches, thanks for buy­ing our ice cream book.’’ Over­look the te­dious gen-Y-speak and you’ll find a cor­nu­copia of un­usual ice­cream flavours, from ‘‘open hand fluffer­nut­ter’’ (vanilla with peanut but­ter and a marsh­mal­low topping) and cho­co­late smoked salt to an ice cream sand­wich flavoured with foie gras. There’s the evoca­tively named Elvis: The Fat Years, fea­tur­ing ba­nanas and ba­con peanut brit­tle; a bour­bon coke float; and Guin­ness ginger­bread, in­cor­po­rat­ing the fa­mous stout. Humphry Slo­combe (its name was de­rived from two of the main char­ac­ters in the 1970s BBC se­ries Are You Be­ing Served?) is an ice-cream shop in San Fran­cisco that has gained cult sta­tus through its use of so­cial me­dia, ap­par­ently with about 300,000 fol­low­ers on Twit­ter. Apart from frozen co­mestibles and this new pub­li­ca­tion, it is do­ing a nice lit­tle side­line in branded T-shirts, sweat­shirts and aprons. I want to hate this book but I just can’t. Come summer I may well be one of the first to whip out the ice-cream ma­chine. New Veg­e­tar­ian Kitchen Ni­cola Graimes (Si­mon & Schus­ter, $20.95 THE mantra here is sim­ple yet com­pre­hen­sive: raw-grill-frys­team-sim­mer-bake. Chap­ters are ar­ranged ac­cord­ing to those cook­ing meth­ods and the fea­tured dishes range well beyond the ex­pected sal­ads and tofu vari­a­tions to fill­ing fare such as leek, ap­ple and pear sausages with wa­ter­cress sauce, and souf­fle omelette with goat’s cheese and rosemary pesto. Pud­dings? Yes, please. Ni­cola Graimes is a Bri­tish cook­book au­thor so there are some ro­bust tummy-warm­ers here, in­clud­ing a ve­gan cho­co­late cake with maple driz­zle. DON’T go near this book on an empty stom­ach. By the time you’ve made your way through the cakes chapter, veered into tarts and pies, taken a calorific diver­sion into cremes and mousses and limped to the fin­ish at hot desserts, you’ll be fling­ing your­self at the cho­co­late-vend­ing ma­chine. This sugar-coated lineup from French-born adopted Aussie Gabriel Gate has all the usual sus­pects in a pub­li­ca­tion can­nily be­ing launched in time for Bastille Day and Le Tour de France: tarte tatin, grand marnier souf­fle and all man­ner of crepes, while the likes of a pavlova with ex­otic fruits lends it a lit­tle more local flavour. There is noth­ing ground­break­ing here, sim­ply a very tempt­ing ar­ray of sweet treats from a man not afraid to get up close and per­sonal with sugar, cream and but­ter. With this book in one’s ar­moury, there is no ex­cuse for a lack of in­spi­ra­tion when it comes to the grand fi­nale at that next din­ner party. Lat­i­tude 36.50 Jean-Michel Gerst (New Hol­land, $40) IT’S all about com­fort food at this time of year, and things don’t get much cosier than the likes of pearl bar­ley por­ridge, a serve of croque mon­sieur or a nice mug of mulled wine. French-born Gerst knows a thing or two about cooler cli­mates, hav­ing grown up in Al­sace and worked in the Swiss Alps be­fore mov­ing to NSW’s Thredbo in 2000, where he’s been ex­ec­u­tive chef at the Thredbo Alpine Ho­tel for the past decade. His hand­some book is a com­pi­la­tion of warm­ing recipes from the moun­tains, and in­cludes fam­ily recipes and dishes cre­ated dur­ing his in­ter­na­tional ca­reer. Chap­ters are ar­ranged with the skier in mind, such as Hit the Slopes (break­fast); Moun­tain Re­fuel (light lunches) and Apres Ski (evening snacks and canapes). Recipes are in­ter­spersed with suit­ably snowy scenic shots and the food pho­tog­ra­phy is sharp — Al­sace duck con­fit or cotechino with puy lentils look worth hit­ting the slopes for.

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