I was recently invited to cookery demonstration and book signing by Antonio Carluccio which was held in Carluccio’s in Dubai Mall.  I’m a fan of Antonio having watched him cook on many a TV show in the UK and here in Dubai and having eaten in his restaurants both in Dubai Mall often whilst watching the fountains with visitors or in the Marina Mall where I need no other excuse than a visit for a good cup of coffee and breakfast.

Affectionately known as ‘The Mushroom Man’ for his love of mushrooms, Antonio was in Dubai to launch his new Book – A Recipe for Life which is a memoir and also contains a recipe at the end of each chapter.

The cooking demo started off with Antonio cooking up a simple treat of stuffed hard boiled eggs.  The eggs were stuffed with a combination of egg yolk, freshly made mayonnaise, tuna, capers and anchovies.  Presented simply they were a tasty treat which were quite easy to make but tasted great.    When asked if you could pipe the filling into the eggs (Antonio was simply rolling the filling in his hands) Antonio responded that yes you could but that he preferred a Mof Mof approach – Maxiumum of Fuss, Minimum of Flavour and this certainly comes through in the recipes within the book and his general cooking style.

Having sampled the eggs, which were delicious.  Antonio then went on to make pasta with wild mushrooms.  Again, simplicity seemed to be the key to the dish as well as the use of good quality fresh ingredients and more than a liberal use of butter and garlic.  I’m a not a pasta fan, but the smell coming from the kitchen was amazing and the sample I tried of the mushrooms and the sauce surrounding the pasta was amazing – fresh and garlicky whilst rich with butter and indulgent in the use of the variety of beautiful mushrooms it was great.

At the age of 75 Antonio is a very charismatic chef, he was entertaining and fun when cooking, sharing an anecdote or two (age appropriate for the audience) and always showing his true passion for cooking.  He was really charming, entertaining the audience in a natural way and signing books in a very relaxed and non rushed manner even though I  was told that he had a busy schedule ahead.

I am now the proud owner of a signed copy of A Recipe for Life, after having a quick chat with the ever charming Antonio, and it’s full of amusing stories of how he came from a self taught chef through to the opening of his restaurants, his marriage to his wife Priscilla and finally the writing of his memoirs.  Throughout the book there some great family pictures as well as fourteen of his favourite recipes some of which I’m going to try to cook including : Pears in Vin Santo, Focaccia and Ricotta and lemon tart.  Watch my site for info as I’ll write about them as I cook 🙂

Wandering around the shop part of the Caffe you will find plenty of Italian products, gifts, books and food items to take home and enjoy or as inspiration for a some foodie gifts 🙂  As well as copies of Carluccio’s books.

Carluccio’s can be found on their Website, Facebook Page and you can follow them on Twitter. or call on Tel: +971 (0) 4 4341320

The book A Recipe for Life is available in Carluccio’s shops and leading bookstores.

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