Top critical review
83 people found this helpful
London Restaurant food, not Italian food
on 8 February 2007
I have no doubt that Giorgio Locatelli is a genius of a chef, and I would love to eat at his restaurant. Whether I want to attempt to cook his restaurant's menu in my own kitchen is entirely a different matter.
One glance at the Contents page of this book - here called the Menu - will tell you that Locatelli is dealing in recipes which are almost impossible to make unless you have access to very unusual ingredients that are extremely difficult to buy in this country. Some of the recipes require a skill that is way beyond my capacity, but far too many others require access to specialist delis, fishmongers and grocers for goods that are simply impossible to acquire unless you live in London and spend all your time sourcing top-quality ingredients for your dinner. Every two months I drive 150 miles to a good Italian deli to stock up on salami, pancetta tesa and parmigiano, but I would have to give up my day job if I wanted to make half the dishes in this book.
It is also worth pointing out that Locatelli is very much a northern Italian cook - so if you want risottos and meat dishes, he is your man. But if you prefer southern Italian staples like seafood, tomato-based pasta dishes, suppli, pizza, baccala, peppers, capers, anchovies and olives - this is not Locatelli's style. It says everything that there are only 3 or 4 tomato-based pasta recipes in the book. At one stage, he tells us he does not use much olive oil, and does not like the strongly-flavoured oils when he does use them. This is not Italian cooking as most of us know it, it is certainly not cucina povera, and if you're like me, you'll enjoy the stories and take some of the technical tips in the book while giving most of the recipes a wide berth.