Movida - Frank Camorra

A book review by Franz Scheurer

 

Stuck in a small, graffiti-rich alley in Melbourne’s CBD, Movida enchants diners with Spanish tapas day in and day out. Finally chef and restaurateur, Frank Camorra, has put together a cookbook (with television producer and bon-vivant Richard Cornish). Movida the book shows us why Frank’s food is such a hit with Australians, with Richard telling us a lot about the land, the producers, the chef and the consumer, helping us to understand the ‘Spanish connection’.

 

Frank was born in Barcelona but his parents migrated to Australia when he was five. Nevertheless he grew up with Spanish flavours and was determined to share them. He has succeeded admirably. It’s important to understand just what makes Spanish cuisine different. I quote: “There are 40 million Spaniards and each one cooks differently. There is no one particular way of making any dish. A simple soup may change from region to region, from town to town and even from neighbour to neighbour. The one unifying tradition that binds Spain’s cooks together is the belief in finding the best ingredients to make a dish to their traditional recipe.”

 

The book goes through some of the key ingredients, pulses, meats, nuts and fruit, and gives you an idea of their use and history. It also covers spices and Sherry, reading these chapters made me particularly hungry. The story starts with sauces, dips and stocks and then launches into Tapas and Shared Plates, a Spanish Cultural Phenomenon.

 

Many of my favourite Movida dishes are in the book. The ‘Movida Steak Tartare’ on page 257, ‘Baby Goat Roasted on a Bed of Aromatic Vegetables’, page 273, ‘Morcilla de Burgos’ (black pudding) on page 290 and one of my all time favourite sweets ‘Sherry Pastries flavoured with Fennel, Cloves and Cinnamon’ on page 328.

 

This is a serious cookbook for the serious cook, rather than a collection of easily achievable recipes, it’s an education on all things culinarily Spanish. A must have for the ambitious cook and the Spanophile.

 

Published by Murdoch Books

RRP $ 45

ISBN: 978-1921259395