Acclaimed drinks writer Kay Plunkett-Hogge returns with this gorgeous guide to Italy's best dishes and drinks for the aperitif hour.
Let's be honest: who doesn't want to be a little bit Italian? To glide through Rome on a Vespa like Marcello Mastroianni, wearing an impeccable suit? Or sit in St Mark's Square in Venice at dusk, nibbling cicchetti and sipping an Aperol spritz? This is la dolce vita, and this is aperitivo - Italy's take on drinks and small snacks.
Aperitivo brings together 80 recipes from across Italy, and tells the stories behind the food and the drinks that shape the aperitif hour. The book opens with the aperitivi themselves - Campari and Aperol - as well as recipes for classic Italian cocktails (including the perfect Negroni) and a guide to Italian wine. Kay then introduces simple recipes for Antipasto and Pinzimonio; Tramezzini; Bruschette and Crostini; Seafood; Meat and Fowl; Vegetables, Dairy and Eggs; Bread and Baking; and Dolci. So let's cinch in our waists, pop on some cat's eye sunglasses, and make like Sophia Loren. It's time for Aperitivo.
Kay can cook - but she can shake a damn fine cocktail too
Kay Plunkett-Hogge is an acclaimed food and drinks writer, and the author of Aperitivo (Mitchell Beazley, 2017), Adventures Of A Terribly Greedy Girl (Mitchell Beazley, 2017), A Sherry & A Little Plate Of Tapas (Mitchell Beazley, 2016), Heat: Cooking With Chillies (Quercus, 2016) and Make Mine A Martini (Mitchell Beazley, 2014).
In addition to her own books, Kay has co-authored a further six books, working with the award-winning chef Bryn Williams on his two books Bryn's Kitchen and For The Love Of Veg, Academy Award nominated actor Stanley Tucci on his second cookbook The Tucci Table, and with the American pizza guru Chris Bianco. She also co-wrote Leon: Family and Friends with John Vincent and Cook Yourself Thin: Quick and Easy.
Born and brought up in 1970s Bangkok, Kay spent her childhood between two kitchens - inside for Western food, outside for Thai - before forging an international career in the film and fashion industries. It is an experience that has given her an in-depth knowledge of cuisines from all over the world.
Kay began her food career when she set up a bespoke location catering service for fashion shoots. Since then, and in addition to her writing, she has worked as a food consultant for a variety of restaurants and bars, including Leon, The Formosa Cafe, Isola del Sole, Ma Goa and The Luang Prabang Motorcycle Club.
Her cult book, Make Mine A Martini, was the Financial Times's pick for drinks book of the year, led to her induction into the Gin Guild (in the words of Heston Blumenthal: 'She shakes a damn fine cocktail.') and her writing regularly on cocktails for The Daily Telegraph and Sainsbury's Magazine. She has also written for the FT Weekend and Olive, and has published recipes in The Times, Hello and Borough Market's Market Life magazine. Kay currently writes a monthly column for Delicious.
She lives in London with her husband, two cats and a dog.