Lunch at Pomegrante Street: A collection of recipes to start, text and illustrations by Felicita Sala (Scribble Books, Scribe Publications).
A stunning picture book that will work for children and adults alike. It is about the house at Pomegrante Street, where the occupants are getting ready for lunch. It has an almost cinematic feel while reading the book. As you turn the pages, you sweep through every apartment and peek into the respective kitchens to see what is cooking. Depending on the culture that is represented, the family is making an easy-to-put-together dish. There are hors-d’oeuvres, savoury dishes, main course, side dishes and of course, plenty of desserts. These include Salmorejo, sesame soy broccoli, guacamole, black bean soup, sole meuniere, spaghetti Al pomodoro, coconut dahl, mini-quiches, meatballs (with turkey, zucchini and feta), oyako don ( chicken and egg rice), baba ganoush, green rice, peanut butter & choc chip cookies, banana & blueberry bread, and strawberry crumble. Once it is all ready, all the neighbours scuttle down the stairs to the back yard for a sit down pot luck. Their good cheer and bonhomie, cutting across cultural divides, is almost palpable through the pages of this beautiful book. Plus point is that the recipe for every single dish is given and illustrated brilliantly. The illustrations are made with watercolours and coloured pencils.
This has been translated from French but for some inexplicable reason, the name of the translator has not been given. Instead the copyright details resting with the publisher are explicitly mentioned. Odd. It is at variance with the spirit of collaboration and sharing across cultures that the story underlines.
Nevertheless, it is a stunning book to read, share and use.
Ottolenghi and Nigella Lawson have endorsed it too.
‘A stunningly illustrated recipe book for kids (or anyone, really). It tells the story of different residents of a house cooking foods from around the world. Simply sweet.’
— Yotam Ottolenghi
‘Beautifully depicting an apartment building with people cooking food from all over the world … Really uplifting and charming.’
— Nigella Lawson
11 Feb 2023