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Is there anyone in Sydney who has not heard of Lucio Galletto and his magnificent Italian food? After decades of cooking for and caring about his customers, his name instantly brings a smile to the thousands who have dined in his Sydney restaurant, Lucio's Italian Restaurant, in Paddington.

Compiled and created with long-time friend and travelling companion, author David Dale, this book captures the essence of what Dale calls the 'Domain of Oil': that part of Ligurian Sea which arches along the coastlines of three countries, Spain, France and Italy.

In this book you will find dishes you wonder how you ever missed before, like crunchy, cheesy baked fennel, a chard tart, lentil and chorizo stew, or the unexpectedly good mushroom and prawn bites.

Inevitably the book dips in and out of the various cultures which, over the years have contributed techniques and ingredients to this hotpot of cuisines. Arabs, Greeks, North Africans, Romans and more have had a hand in stirring this pot, and the resulting recipes are all the richer for it.

This is a big book, a beautiful book, with stunning evocative pictures from photographer Bree Hutchins. Just leafing through the book might be enough to send many readers off to their travel agent the next morning to book a trip to this area, but then that may not be  strictly necessary. After all, the recipes are all here, clearly explained and illustrated, many with the thrilling back-story of their origin. 

Or you could simply book dinner at Lucio's!


Coastline, by Lucio Galletto and David Dale, published by Murdoch Books, 2017, hardcover, rrp A$59.99. ISBN 978 17433 67346.

- reviewed by Sally Hammond


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