FIII & IRINK
Antonio Carluccio knows his mushrooms. Where many may feel content with a knowledge of onions, it is fungi that are the focus of his long-term gastronomic love affair. Initially popularised by the man himself in the late 80s, he feels personally accountable for their growth in popularity. 'When I did my first book and TV show in 1986,’ states Carluccio, ’that was the first thing about them in Britain practically. I feel responsible. At the time, no-one would touch them. Now in every restaurant there are wild mushrooms.’
This month sees the publication of the final four books of an eight part series on specific ingredients by Carluccio. Meat, Game And Poultry, Mushrooms And Truffles, Baking and Desserts are the subject of the four books, which act not only as the source for authentic recipes, but have in-depth glossaries which provide a breakdown of the origins of said ingredients. 'Italian food is divided very specifically into twenty regions,’ purports Carluccio, 'I wanted to bring bits of all of them into the books.’
A veteran of both TV and radio as well as print, Carluccio has made dozens of TV appearances including regular reports for Food And Drink and two successful series of Italian Feasts, which detail the regional delicacies of Italy for BBCZ. All this in addition to numerous books and running his own restaurant and shop with his wife Priscilla in London.
A firm advocate of the independent retailer, Carluccio started his own importing business in 1991. The return back to the specialist buying is something that pleases him greatly. 'This is a trend I hope continues,’ he says.
River's edge: The Pumphouse
A fun guy: Antonio Carluccio
‘Supermarkets are useful but they kill private initiative. It is this private initiative which ultimately gives better quality products.’
Carluccio sings the praises of specialist Scottish produce, unsurprisingly perhaps, wild mushrooms. ’I use almost exclusively Scottish mushrooms in my restaurant,’ he reveals. 'They are fantastic. The Porcino is not as strong or flavoursome as the Italian ones, but they are still very good and therefore very valuable.’ High praise indeed from the original man of mushrooms. (Mark Robertson)
All four books are Out now on Ouadrie/le Books, hard back priced [ 6 99 each
through the west-facmg Window, and you're looking right onto Glasgow’s Tall Ship, The G/en/ee. Look to the east, and ini’ve got the Clyde Heliport and SECC.
Such is the restaurant's location that it's ideally placed to capture the family market come to Visit the ship, the pre- concert crowd, and diners who realise how rare it is for a West End restaurant to have unlimited free parking The menus reflect this diversity: the children's menu is a mere £1.99, While lunch (Mon—Sat) and brunch (Sun) have a casual cafe/bar feel.
Run by the people behind Gordon Street's Cafe Roberta, The Pumphouse's evening a la carte menu currently contains the likes of crab cake With a red pepper mayonnaise (£4.50), Thai sea bass With egg noodles and
When the sun sets to the west of Glasgow, the sight of Clydeside cranes silhouetted against the golden sky is
one of the most beautiful the City has ; to offer. Few restaurants can serve up such a View, but The PumphOLise,
nestling close to the Side of the river, puts this stunning backdrop on the
118 THE “ST 23 Sep—7 Oct 1999
menu on a nightly basis.
The Pumphouse is an inspired combination of past and present. Sir Norman Foster designed the restaurant's uncluttered interior — deep green walls, dark wooded bar, bright pine floor and ceiling — which is adjacent to the ’B'-|isted bUilding (dating from 1877) that now houses the Clyde Maritime Museum, Glance
vegetable stir fry (£10.50), and Cajun corn-fed chicken With parsnip mash and mango sauce (£9.95). Plans are in place to expand the menu until it offers a dozen starters, a dozen mains and a dozen desserts. SpOilt for chOice in a room With a View from every table, (Alan Morrison)
rs The Pumphouse Restaurant is at 100 Stobcross Road, Glasgow, 248 2884.
Spit or swallow
It’s all in the best possible taste.
In a world saturated by the classic varietal grapes like Cabernet SauVignon, Chardonnay and Merlot, it's good to see some less well known types on the shelf These two Wines are made With grapes that are (almost) indigenous to their respective
(Ountries The first, Ruby Cabernet, is a grape created in California in 1949 by crossing two other varieties, althOLigh it is predominantly planted in South Africa The other, Zinfandel, famous for its blush < or rose ~ Wines, is America's only indigenous grape, but is thought by many to be of Italian origin and sneaked across on a ship sometime last century
Capelands Ruby Cabernet (South Africa, 1998, £3 99) A young Wine with Vibrant raspberry and strawberry notes on the nose. It is, however, surprisingly dry on the palate, which Will go well With a robust meal If left uncorked for a couple of hours, the fruit comes to the fore
Pepperwood Grove Zinfandel (California, 1997, £5.99) Great bramny frUit on the nose With jUSI a hint of toffee. It's quite a light, elegant flavour for a Zinfandel, With a very long-lasting finish. (Gordon Haggarty) in Both Wines available from Peckhams.