Stefano de Pieri and Jim McDougall (Hardie Grant, $49.95) IN Italy, culinary rivalries abound. Tell a Puglian, say, that his regional fare is not as good as a Piemontese’s and watch the farfalle hit the fan. It’s fitting that this book from Stefano de Pieri, of Stefano’s restaurant in Mildura, Victoria, and his former apprentice Jim McDougall has a competitive heart. DePieri’s traditional Italian recipes sit alongside McDougall’s more flamboyant offerings — a simple warm salad of duck from de Pieri, for example, against McDougall’s anatra with potato and stinging nettle salad. De Pieri has toiled in Mildura for close to two decades. McDougall got itchy feet and worked at Vue de Mondein Melbourne before recently returning to the fold, bringing a wealth of new ideas. The result is a delectable collaboration to suit every palate. Diane Kochilas (Hardie Grant, $65) THEwaytothe heart of a nation is through its country cooks, and this hefty, encyclopaedic publication — joining Italy, France and Ireland in the publisher’s Country Cooking series — has drawn recipes from every corner of Greece. Athensbased teacher and chef Kochilas has written seven books on Greek and Mediterranean cooking, and this is a one-stop shop for anybody wanting to learn the finer details of this cuisine.
There are more than 250 recipes, drawn from local villages, tavernas and Kochilas’s cooking school, plus chapters on Greek specialties (avgolemono, saganaki) and introductions to producers and markets.
Pan-fried shrimp or onion fritters with paprika and oregano sound just about perfect for summer.