Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery
The meaning of this intriguing title lies in the subtitle, “A guide to the truly good restaurants and food experiences of the world”.
Compiled by ‘leading foodwriters from forty-five countries’, this book is way more than a global ‘where to eat’ guide. You may not find the world’s famed restaurants featured in the book, but what you will find is dining experiences where the chef grows or oversees the growing of produce for the restaurant, where sustainable produce and products are the first choice, where single-use plastic is reduced, where waste is minimised, and where staff is respected and looked after, among other things. Of course, to make the cut and get in the book, the food served must be delicious.
New Zealand has 15 entries. A dedicated foodie could make a nice little road trip taking in all the recommendations, (make sure you get your bookings in place before setting off). It’s no surprise to find revered restaurants such as Roots, Pasture and Fleurs Place included in the tight group, but others, like Fort Greene, an artisan bakery offering exquisite sandwiches (327 Karangahape Road, Ak), will be new to many. It’s not an Auckland-centric guide: Christchurch and surrounds have 3 entries (including Roots), Wellington and Queenstown have 2 each, and Arrowtown, Blenheim and Napier each have one. Auckland has 4, including Pasture.
While the book is a handy guide to unique local food experiences – the list was put together by esteemed food writer Lauraine Jacobs, ex long-standing restaurant reviewer for Cuisine magazine – its beauty lies in helping identify special food experiences for travellers. Yes, you can use free online restaurant guides, and trawl through the banal, the ridiculous, the vicious and downright inaccurate trash that occupies many of these sites before you set off on a trip, or you can opt for a carefully curated, easy to use book of food experiences beyond excellent.
There is also a handy list at the back of the book titled Hero Producers, featuring exceptional growers and producers in each country. Australia has just over three columns of pat-on-the-back producers. New Zealand has over two columns of them. Good for us!
The book itself is handsome, subtle, stylish and nice to hold. It’s printed on ‘paper from responsible sources’ (read more about this online https://nz.fsc.org/en-nz/buy-fsc-certified), with a cloth flexi-cover that can be wiped clean, with two handy ribbons to help mark places you want to return to.
The final word, which is the by-line in the book, says it all: “Of all the qualities that distinguish a truly outstanding restaurant or food experience, perhaps truth, love and care are the most important. A passion for creating food that is so good that it will never be forgotten, an environment that makes that extraordinary food taste even better, and a care for the ground or water from which that food is derived and the community in which it is served. Restaurants that care about these things aren’t just good, they are exemplary. Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery was conceived to identify and shine a light on these inspiring exemplars so that the rest of us can find, support and enjoy them.”
Published by Geoff Blackwell and Ruth Hobday
Blackwell & Ruth
Edited by Jill Dupleix and Giles Coren
Distributed by Thames & Hudson Australia
RRP NZ$49.99 AU$44.99
*Five per cent of the originating publisher’s revenue from sales of this book will be donated to Action Against Hunger.
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