Kate Fraser runs her eye over some books to tempt foodies.
LOVE TO EAT, By Valli Little. ABC Delicious, $50
Valli Little has mastered the art of tweaking complex classic dishes into no-fuss recipes. She is not afraid of shortcuts but all her instructions are clear and easy to follow. Love to Eat reflects Little’s travels (seemingly everywhere), her British background (notably her elderflower and strawberry summer pud) and enthusiasm for her adopted country’s ingredients (try her vegemite roast chicken with macadamia couscous). With so many standout shortcuts, the book is a voyage in itself. Highly recommended: Korean beef with quick kimchi. Ideal for the cook with an adventurous streak.
SAISON – A YEAR AT THE FRENCH CAFE, By Simon Wright. Random House, $95
It’s a tome at 317 pages but a beautifully designed book with outstanding photographs. Simon Wright’s multi-page foreword explains the ambition that drove him to achieve culinary fame for both himself and his restaurant, but it’s the recipes that beguile. They are manylayered with intense flavours which will please those who like experimental techniques and dishes. I see this being the perfect gift for a home cook – man and woman – who likes ‘‘to try something new.’’
DEPOT, By Al Brown. Random House, $70
Sub-titled ‘the biography of a restaurant with recipes’ and never a truer word was writ. Want to know why Brown loves food and standing over a hot barbecue? This book has answers and more. It presents the Depot Oyster Bar Eatery in detail. The liquor, food, staff, chef (Kyle St), why it has a no reservation system, and why and how it captures the vibe of a bach is all outlined. The recipes are for the food cooked and served at Depot. They are indeed casual. It’s also interesting and stunning and because this is an Al Brown cookbook with a great ‘‘go to’’ section (aioli, kasundi, pickles, dressings, batters, sauces. . .) Give it to someone who likes to cook big.