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BOOKS & ENTERTAINMENT-Culina-reads.

Summary: Reviews of the latest cookbooks, food shows and mobile apps.

On my bookshelf...

[pounds sterling][sup.3] We ask the pros to tell us about the cookbook they can't live without.

Jamie Robertson, Head Chef at Gaucho I'm a big fan of Latin Evolution (Lake Isle Press) by Jose Garces. Jose Garces was first brought to my attention in 2008, and since then I've spent a lot of time researching his style of food. When I saw he had written his first book, I bought it straightaway. I believe his cooking philosophy matches my own - experimenting with new ingredients and using innovative techniques whilst still staying true to the Latin American style.

Watch this:

[pounds sterling][sup.3] Nigella Kitchen, at various times on Food Network

Her glossy locks and charm make her appealing, but that isn't the only reason to tune in to this show. Kitchen goddess Nigella Lawson cooks up quick and enticing dishes in a way that makes everything seem just a tad more do-able. With a great emphasis on cooking with easy-to-find ingredients, Nigella makes your mouth water as she cooks, while answering questions sent in by home cooks.

Download this:

[pounds sterling][sup.3] Calorie counter, Free for I-phone, I-pad, and Android phones.

Get started on this app by filling in your details- weight, height, age - and it automatically suggests a recommended goal weight and daily calorie budget according to your Body mass index. Fill in your journal with your daily food intake and exercise activities, to keep track of your progress on a bar chart. The app also offers recipes and tips, making it a fab resource for sticking to health goals.

[pounds sterling][sup.3] Fantastico! Modern Italian Food (Kyle books) By Gino D'Acampo

Who doesn't love to toss up a bit of pasta, or an Italian-style salad every now and then? But, if you want to learn how to recreate the authentic flavours - it's easier than you think - then this book is for you. Camera- friendly chef and author Gino opens with an introduction that sets the tone of this award-winning, best-selling book - straightforward, fuss-free and informal - laying a clear emphasis on his rules of cooking. These include focusing on a high quality of ingredients, and always cooking solo - "cooking should be a selfish and relaxing experience," he says. Relaxing it will be, with these minimum-effort Modern Italian recipes aimed at non-Italian cooks, that range from a tuna and mixed bean salad, to double chocolate mousse, and everything in between. The chapters are divided on the basis of both ingredients (with quirky names like 'Sunshine and salads' and 'Legs and feathers') as well as situations, such as 'Late breakfast' and 'Aperitivo and antipasti', and each comes with its own set of tips from Gino. Our favourite part is the last chapter, 'Say it with food', in which he compiles a selection of recipes for specific people or moments, as a way of expressing oneself. That and the 'First aid for food' page, where he shares handy hints (what to do with overripe avocados, for example), are reason enough to buy it!

Dhs94, available at Jashanmal

Moro The Cookbook

(Edbury Press) By Sam and Sam Clark

Well-loved London restaurateurs Sam and Sam Clark responded to their fans' (Nigella Lawson counts herself as one) pleas for recipes with this cookbook, a treasure trove of their secrets of their food. Offering a rare insight into Mediterranean cuisine - but not as we know it, rather the lesser known reaches of the Mediterranean across Spain and North Africa - the husband-wife duo capture the spices, flavours, and culinary traditions of the region beautifully in this book. Complete with vintage-style illustrations, you will find recipes for everything from Baba ghanouj and Harira, to Chorizo salad and Churros, the seemingly disparate dishes connected by the saffron-cinnamon link they have discovered. It isn't just a compilation of some of the best dishes from their Moro restaurant, which specialises in the same Arabic, Hispanic and Levant-inspired dishes featured in the book, but also a journey you are taken along on.

Dhs98, available from Jashanmal books

Street Food of India (IB Tauris) By Sephi Bergerson

Food lovers travel -partly to discover new places but mainly to discover new tastes and foods.

The most enthusiastic know, however, that the heart of a culture lies in its street foods - whether it's an empanada in Mexico City, a fish taco in San Francisco, a box of frites and mustard in Paris or a bowl of Pho in Hanoi. But nowhere does such an abundance of delicious street food as India and this book is photographer Bergerson's celebration of everything tasty, from a sweet lassi in Jaipur to an earthenware pot of chai anywhere. Many of these snacks you'll have eaten in Dubai's souks, but street food should be eaten on the street, not in a food court or canteen - a cornucopia of samosas, pakoras, idlis, bhel puri, bhature, masala dosa and so much more. As well as photos that will inspire you to plan a trip to India, the book contains recipes to the 50 'greatest' Indian snacks to make at home. Highly recommended!

$28 (Dhs102), available from amazon.com

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Publication:BBC GoodFood Middle East
Date:Mar 31, 2013
Words:879
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