Over the years, Antonio Carluccio has had a large part to play in the development of our family cuisine. When Camille I were first married, and it became apparent that if I wanted to eat something other than takeaways I’d have to do the cooking, the first cookbook we bought was Antonio’s An Introduction To Italian Cooking. It fired me with an enthusiasm for Italian food and by some strange osmosis his evident love for finding and eating wild mushrooms worked its way into my system.A couple of years ago, Antonio was the star guest at a local foodie masterclass weekend (Savour New Zealand), and visited Limestone Hills. He cooked porcini in our kitchen:
I had a chance to blame him for my current lifestyle – and get him to sign that tattered old cookbook. He took it all with good grace, and had a good time – one abiding memory is Antonio and pinot guru Danny Schuster sitting in the sun telling each other an endless stream of filthy jokes.A few weeks ago I rather cheekily emailed Antonio and asked if he’d be willing to contribute a foreword for The Truffle Book – and he said yes. I have the text sitting in my computer ready to go. His only stipulation? That I send him my first truffle.
With pleasure Antonio. It’s all yours. And if I could hand deliver it and enjoy a meal at Neal Street, I’d love to… All I have to do is find one.