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BOOK REVIEW: MOVIDA SOLERA by Frank Camorra & Richard Cornish

| 24 September 2014 | 1 Reply

BOOK REVIEW: MOVIDA SOLERA by Frank Camorra & Richard Cornish
Penguin Australia
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Movida Solera book cover

Frank Camorra is chef and owner of the much-loved MoVida restaurants in Melbourne, and for his latest tome he teams up with food writer Richard Cornish for a journey through the sunny hills and plains of Andalusia in Southern Spain.

As the duo travel from Cadiz to Malaga, through Seville and Cordoba, they feature a stunning array of beautiful photographs (courtesy of Alan Benson), descriptions of each region, a summary of the best restaurants, food outlets and bars of the towns they visit, and – at the heart of the book, their journey, and our lives – glorious, simple, honest, beautiful food.

As a chef I have always been most fascinated in regional cuisines that showcase the history of the area, and in this Movida Solera is a real treat.

A dish as seemingly basic as Arroz Caldosa A La Marinera – Fisherman’s Rice – is made simple and disarmingly easy to replicate: a handful each of clams, squid, prawns, capsicums and tomatoes, tossed in a wet rice dish with only saffron, bay leaves and garlic to flavour it, this is the food of the gods, a dish which can be made with a thousand different tiny variations, yet remains in its basic form for hundreds of years due to its sheer perfection.

There’s stuffed calamari, Grilled meats, salt cod salad, asparagus with artichokes and jamon, pippis in sherry, white sausage, fennel pastries in honey – even baked suckling goat, octopus head terrine, braised oxtail and churros. The food is divine – always simple, never confused, never making the mistake made by many modern chefs of overcomplicating a dish and muddying the flavours. Like this beautiful book, the food is the stuff of ages, to be treasured and handed down.

Category: Book Reviews

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