The book will feature recipes for fish (primi and secondi) and vegetables and will be called Sicilian Seafood Cookbook. The photography is by Graeme Gillies and food styling by Fiona Rigg, but the book will also have photos that were shot in Sicily over my many travels.
There were approximately 70 dishes, cooked and photographed in 4.5 days. We were busy and the photographer and food stylist did an amazing job, as did the team of volunteer friends who were kitchen hands.
The kitchen and dining room of my apartment was completely taken over by ingredients, implements, cutlery, crockery and decorative props for the week. Most of the furniture was shipped out and stored with friends and neighbours – so many people pitched in to help.
I source most of my ingredients from my favourite and ever-reliable suppliers in the Queen Victoria Market. But I also travelled to the Preston and Kingston Markets for some of the more exotic things such as sea urchins (ricci) – these unfortunately were suitable for the props only and were not very edible.
I found Coorong mullets, urchin roe, wild/line caught species of fish (sustainable) from a couple of specialist, restaurant fish suppliers. I ended up buying about ten cuttlefish to extract the ink and ended up finally finding a live eel in an Asian food market in Adelaide.
Fishing the eel out of the tank was extremely dramatic. Several eels made a bid of freedom, slithering along the market floor, as the person serving me, tried his best to get to grips with one of these slippery creatures. Finally, after much wriggling and squirming, he succeeded. The vendor was ready to give me a live eel in a plastic bag until I told him that I had to fly back to Melbourne with it. I left the shop with a very fresh eel, which I only had to skin. But that is another story.
|Eel- top two pieces are the skin|
And in those four days that the photo shoot took place, we all worked extremely hard.
Thanks Graeme , Fiona and the friends who come to help.