|Antonia & Lucia|
Author and chef Riccardo Momesso hardly needs to mention that the food he ate as a child had a huge influence on the way he cooks today. Those who have eaten his food over the years at a number of top Melbourne restaurants would already know this.
Chef Momesso is now head chef and partner in Melbourne’s acclaimed Sarti which specialises in game dishes and stuzzichini, or small shared plates. “Even my most modern dishes have their roots in my Calabrian-Australian past,” he says.
Antonio and Lucia are, of course, Momesso’s parents and the recipes throughout this book sing of the rich history of southern Italian cooking traditions which they brought with them when they migrated to Australia in the 1950s.
Like so many others they continued their centuries-old practices of food-foraging, hunting, fishing, preserving and hospitality and sharing. Yes, it is ‘peasant’ food, with techniques often born of tough harsh times in the land from which these people came, but somehow they had learned to season and save even the most humble ingredients in such a way that they would later enhance other dishes.
So in this book you have a guide to preserving and pickling, making smallgoods, sauces and much, much more. Matched with a bounteous selection of beautiful full-colour full-page pictures, it is a book you will love to read and love to cook from.
Homespun, honest fare, it just begs to be shared with your friends and family. This handing-on of tradition is something you can be sure will make Antonio and Lucia justly proud.
Antonia & Lucia, recipes and stories from my Australian-Calabrian kitchen, by Riccardo Momesso, published by Pan Macmillan Australia, April 2012, hardcover, rrp $49.99.
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