Today as I sauntered through the book department of the centro comerciale, in Lanciano, I came across the recipe-slash-celebrity-cook-book section. The Italian’s have their fair share of these books fronted by a smiling chef promising you easy ways to prepare wonderful dishes. As I studied the covers, I spotted a familiar face. A well known multi-lined, some may say craggy, other’s may say handsome; me, I’m indifferent, face..
The celebrity face belonged to none other than Gordon Ramsay. Now I hear you say, “Well as he’s so popular, his book may have been translated into Italian, it’s not unheard of for best sellers to be…” I’ll stop you there and explain something.
This book was created solely for the Italian market, it’s called, In Cucina con Gordon Ramsay, (in the kitchen with Gordon Ramsay). I flicked through it and all the recipes are Italian styled, carpaccio of sole with olives, pasta filled with proscuitto crudo – you get the idea. At first I’m impressed that he has managed to come up with a new market to plunder, or rather his agent and publishing company did and he just put his name and face to it for extra income.
off on a tangent moment: I know of a professional chef who was employed to come up with a book of recipes, write to text for the book and actually cook the dishes that were photographed for the content. The book was then packaged with a celebrity chef as the figure head and quoted as the author. All the celebrity did was write a 200 page forward and the actual chef got a six word thank you in the acknowledgements. Ghost writing at its worst, the celebrity made a packet and the chef made a pittance.
back to the subject in mind: I was surprised at the Italian recipes, and wondered why an Italian public would buy a book by an English chef when there are a plethora of Italian chefs publishing their own manuals.
Photo taken as a screenshot © unknown
I have to say the book was well put together, the photography was nicely executed and I was enjoying flicking through it when I came to a page that had a recipe that made me smile.
The dish was called, sandwich di patate con salsa pomodoro. which translated is a chip butty with tomato ketchup, as the picture also pointed out. Good on you Gordon.
You couldn’t make it up.