For most people if asked about Lombardy – they‘ll probably say ‘ah Northern Italy, Milan, the lakes?’ And of course they are right.
But for Christine Smallwood it is also the region of excellent food, wine, and talented chefs. On her journey through the region she has visited towns and cities with restaurants that make you want to follow in her footsteps, pack your suitcase and head for Lombardy.
Each town chosen is given a brief introduction before Christine gets down to individual restaurants telling fascinating insights into the stories behind the scenes of a particular restaurant – what motivates the chef, his or her philosophy, training, and plans for the future, followed by some of the chefs’ favourite recipes.
For instance there is Sergio Motta in Bellinzago who is first and foremost a butcher, but after he found it difficult to sell some of the perhaps less popular cuts of meats, set up his own restaurant and now serves them up to delighted diners. Or how about Stefano Cerveni in Borgonato who studied for years to be a professional musician only to realise that it was his cooking which was hitting the highest notes.
The recipes, which have been tested in home kitchens, range from the likes of the crumbly Mantuan Almond Tart from Giovanni Comparini’s pasticceria, La Tur dal Sϋcar, in the gorgeous city of Mantova, to Penne La Rava e La Fava (broad beans with penne) of Fabio Rivolta, Osteria la Rava e la Fava, in Busto Arsizio to Farfalle with Venison Ragu from Maurizio Vaninetti , Osteria dal Crotto, in Morbegno.
And for those of us who like to know a little more about the regional specialities such as the cheese, rice and even Campari, a special section has been devoted to them.
A fascinating book; with delightful and inspirational photography from Daniel Bone.
An Appetite for Lombardy – The People, The Places, The Food.
Christine Smallwood. Photography by Daniel Bone.
ISBN: 978-0-9550058-3-1. £20. BDP Ltd. www.appetiteforitaly.com