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Hungry, Food from my Heart


"This is the food I cook for my friends. My customers and my family," writes author-chef-designer Guy Mirabella, describing his latest book. "It's the food I love to cook for the people I love to be with."

Even a quick flick through this book is enough to make you yearn to be on Mirabella's invitation list. Spend longer with the book and soon you will have it bristling with markers. And that's when the decisions come in.

Will I make the very large bread and butter pudding? Or try the huge and crunchy coffee meringues? Perhaps I should go for a Mediterranean-style healthy 'knockout lamb shanks'. Or why not a 'soup of tender parts'?

An even closer inspection reveals that this is a sensationally beautiful and quite unique cookbook. Much more than just a volume of recipes, Hungry is interleaved with card collages and fold out spreads and should be just at home on the coffee table as by the coffee maker in the kitchen. 

Photographer Earl Carter's artistic and atmospheric renditions of the many dishes lift what Mirabella regards as 'Italian home-style fare' (much of it sourced from his own Sicilian heritage) into the realm of fashion-shoot cuisine. 

Now the owner-chef of Shop Ate Café and Store in Mount Eliza on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula, with his characteristic Italian generosity, Guy Mirabella heaps everything he's got into this classic book - design, beauty, evocative tastes, stories and family-lore.

For anyone needing more convincing, just turn to page 173. The unbelievably delicate tutu trifle, is pure yet edible fantasy on a plate.

One last word of advice from Mirabella appears on the cover: "Enjoy!"

You will

Hungry, Food from my Heart, Guy Mirabella , Pan Macmillan Australia, September 2011, hardcover, rrp $49.99.

- Sally Hammond


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