Kate Fraser runs her eye over some books to tempt food­ies.

The Press - Zest - - Reviews -

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.

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