Jennifer Donovan was born in Australia where she trained and developed her passion for good food. Now living in London, she teaches at Notting Hill's "Books for Cooks", and the Divertimenti Cookery Theatre in Marylebone.
Novice cooks will feel at home with this book containing more than 70 recipes, each with full-page color illustrations, step-by-step directions for preparation, generous cooking time allotments, and a one-sentence description of each item. The contemporary font, layout, and menu planner make the recipes less intimidating, and a CD of Italian opera is included to set the ambience as you prepare dinner. Donovan, a successful caterer and stylist in London, provides each dish with an English title and uses the classic Italian name as a subheading, taking away from the charm of Italian cooking. For the beginner, recipes include staples such as a fragrant tomato sauce and mouthwatering leg of lamb. More experienced cooks will find little of interest here, as recipes, e.g., for gnocchi, lack detailed directions to make the dish properly. Those who want to advance their recipe collections and cooking techniques beyond the basics should check out one of Mario Batali's cookbooks. Recommended for public libraries lacking easy-to-prepare Italian cookbooks.-Kristen Mastel, MINITEX Lib. Information Network, Minneapolis Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.