Luke Mangan has had a huge influence on the food industry. His involvement, ranges from cooking in many countries, to airline food, as well as cruise ships menus, and has been remarkable. His philosophy and passion encompass showcasing the “Relationship between Australia’s finest ingredients “, in a clean and contemporary manner. Luke is also the co- founder of Australia’s largest hospitality awards programme, the Appetite for Excellence programme, helping to develop young chefs, waiters and Restaurateurs in Australia.
The contents of this book then will not be those of an ordinary cook book. They follow the trend and delightful custom of sharing meals in a casual and informal style. The introduction explains that the Spanish with tapas, the Chinese with Yum Cha, and the Italians with their anti pasti, have all embraced this tradition. So this is an Australian way of sharing plates with good company and good food.
The book is divided into Breakfast and Brunch, Bread, Snacks and Salads, Oysters and Sashimi, Fish and shellfish, Meat, Poultry, and Sweets. It is the full range of foods that you may wish to serve at any time, maybe nibbles with drinks before a show, or sweets, with coffee after an evening out. There is an index for easy access to particular dishes, and many beautiful and well labelled photographs.
Some of the recipes are unusual and take a little time to assemble. For those people who wish to serve something a little different, or even make a toastie that looks amazing, the instructions will easily guide you through the process. Other recipes give option for those of us who like to cheat a little. There is a superb recipe for a three way focaccia, with the instructions on how to make the focaccia dough. I’m sure that you could find a wonderful focaccia loaf at an Italian Bakery if you were pressed for time. However, the fun would be to make your own.
Just reading through this book makes you want to have a gathering and to begin cooking. In the nibbles section we see “Sweet potato and chilli salt fries with gorgonzola cream.” In the main courses we have, “Crispy salt & pepper popcorn chicken”, which sounds wonderful and would be tempting palettes of all ages. The main courses all look tempting and different. There is “Lamb’s neck adobo with coconut jackfruit curry”, and on the next page, “Hot dogs”, so the range of food is certainly wide and varied. The sweets again show a great variety of dishes, but all similarly delicious and tasty.
This would be a wonderful reference book for those who enjoy food and cooking.