Please update your Flash Player to view content.
Alla Fratelli

Finally! A cookbook which opens flat, so that you can use it for the purpose for which it was meant - cooking! To be fair, there are a few around now with a special binding which allows this, and it is certainly a Great Step Forward.

Having got that off my mind, this is what I also like about Barry McDonald's book: it is personal, with plenty of family and restaurant photographs which invite you to adopt the Cafe Sopra and Fratelli Fresh world view - albeit a rather skewed one that puts Italy at the centre. McDonald makes no apology for this, but also qualifies it. 'There is a certain freedom,' he says, 'in running an Italian restaurant a long way from Italy.' He explains it this way: 'We respect Italian traditions, but not when it gets in the way of something better.'

So there are recipes such as perfect arancini with taleggio, braised beef cheeks with soft polenta, torta della Nonna and tiramisu, of course. But you will also find some which launched from a traditional recipe and have taken wings, often in the restaurants, such as shaved baby cabbage with aged balsamic, smoked trout fish cakes with soft-boiled egg, grilled king prawns with roast tomato and basil butter, or pistachio panna cotta with cranberry jelly.

With a lifetime of experience and hugely successful restaurants which feed 15-20,000 diners a week, Barry McDonald is the ideal spokesperson to represent his family and his team of chefs and staff - and indeed Italian cuisine.

Unpretentious and helpful, this book serves it up as the subtitle promises - How to eat Italian!

Or as he amends: Mangia! mangia! (Eat! Eat!)


Alla Fratelli, How to Eat Italian, by Barry McDonald, published by Murdoch Books, 2015, rrpA49.99, hardcover. ISBN: 978 1743 364703.

- reviewed by Sally Hammond


Add comment

Security code

Related Articles

News Feed

feed-image Feed Entries


Selfie lovers - this is for YOU!

Discover the world's best selfie spots....




There's something charismatic about Croatia.

Find out what it is.....



Going OTBT in Australia. What's that?

Find out how much fun it is....



Catch up again with Sizzling Sicily!

Find it here....



Everyone loves a magical old city.

Which ones have you visited?



Discover Sydney's playground and food bowl, right at its back door.

Twenty ways to enjoy its charms....



Surprises everywhere in Serbia.

Surprising Serbia is now here...



It was cold in Canbrrrra for our visit, but it seemed just right for these beauties.

Find out what to do with them...



Tasty Austria has something for everyone but...see what it doesn't have!

Window on Austria is now here...



Best food destinations around the world....

Here they are according to's research.



Geordie country is unique and beautiful.

Find out  where it is, and why you'll love it.



What ever happened to What's next....?

The recent roundup of upcoming features is here....



Fells and dales, gingerbread, shaggy sheep and weird standing stones.

But please don't call the lake a loch!



Glasgow is shaking off its grey reputation.....

... becoming colourful - and tasty!



Still find all the food and fun of Central Taiwan ....




Lovely green Kerala has a friendly welcome for everyone.

Meet the locals here...

Listen to the podcast


Meet the courageous Japanese city that is embracing the future.

Learn where it is....



A cruise around south-east Asia uncovers some fascinating secrets.

Find out where...



So you thought throwing the wedding bouquet was strange....

See what happens in other countries!