SOFFRITTO, A DELICIOUS LIGURIAN MEMOIR By Lucio Galletto and David Dale (Allen & Unwin, $49.95) AS COULD be expected from writing set in Italy, this beautiful hard-cover journey of a book begins and ends with a meal. In fact, at its conclusion there is a series of provincial Italian recipes that make the mouth water – a good incentive to read from cover to cover. The life of Lucio Galletto has been inspired by farmers, fishermen, war heroes, winemakers, waiters, hunters, family, and cooks. He was born in north-west Italy where he studied architecture. In 1957 he fell in love with a visiting Australian girl and moved to Sydney. Since then he has set up an award-winning Italian restaurant, Lucio’s. Twenty-six years later, Lucio returns to his birthplace. The book’s title Soffritto – a cooking `starter kit’ of olive oil, herbs, garlic and other core ingredients that form the base of Italian cooking – alerts the reader to Lucio’s search for the soffritto of his life. Dale provides a conversational re-telling of Lucio’s experiences, making for a pleasant read, interspersed with vibrant photos that embellish the memoir. This is a multi-faceted book: memoir, pictorial, cookbook and travel journal. – CLAIRE VAN RYN
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