The Flesh in my Life by Vince Garreffa
The Flesh in My Life is the best tasting auto-biography you can get.
Vincenzo Garreffa’s story begins as a four year old new Australian from Calabria with no money and no English. He is now Perth’s most prominent master butcher, meat wholesaler, food writer, caterer, cooking school proprietor, and philanthropist.
Vince tells how family, friends, and finding a career he loved are what made his new life possible. Along the way, this is the story of Australia in the sixties and seventies.It’s a window into the lives of the Greek, Italian, Portuguese, and Slav kids in schools all around Perth at the time. And it hints at what became of them.
Oh, and this has the secret method to the BEST GARLIC PRAWN DISH EVER (that the Storekeeper knows of).
Vince has sixty recipes in his book. Each one is tried and tested deliciousness, and crucial in demonstrating the role that food has played in Vince Garreffa’s life… and emphasising his theme that food and its sharing is life itself.
Vince has gathered, developed, perfected, and eaten these recipes for years. They range from his Mama’s chicken soup recipe (of course) to a calves liver recipe from multi-awarded Perth silver service chef Neil Jackson; there’s a limoncello recipe from Italy’s Massimo Veronese, and Vince’s own traditional but on-trend Stinging Nettle Risotto.
Vince Garreffa’s story gives hope to all. His family had no money, he was a bed wetter into his late teens, was chastised by his folks for not having any discernible talent, and was hopeless at his first job.
Even after discovering his love of the butchers life (and finding the wife of his dreams), Vince had to deal with depression, near-bankruptcy, and suicidal thoughts.
The story of how Vince Garreffa met and dealt with each hurdle is a beauty. It’s told in a straight forward fashion. He’s not pretending to be Tim Winton here – there’s hardly a metaphor in sight. Just a grateful and humble sixty year old man taking stock, and setting down his tale.
Oh, and the secret to those amazing Garlic Prawns ? It involves two pans, but you’ll have to buy this book to find out the rest – proceeds go to Lifeline.
Hardbound, 205 pages
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