The food of the Venetian Republic is diverse: Prosecco and snapper risotto, Croatian roast lamb shoulder with olive oil potatoes, the sweet and sour red mullet of Crete, zabaglione from Corfu, or Dubrovnik’s ricotta and rose liqueur crepes. These are recipes steeped in history; dishes from the days when Venice was a world power. How did this small city state rule the waters of the Mediterranean, enjoying unrivalled wealth and prestige? How could this serene, safe-haven city of canals come to play a defining role in shaping the cuisine, culture and architecture of her Mediterranean neighbours? Yet, for a thousand years, the ships and merchants of the Republic dominated salt, silk and spice trade routes.
To tell this history, respected writer, chef and restaurateur Nino Zoccali focuses on the four key regions of the Republic: Venice and the lagoon islands; the surrounding Veneto; the Croatian coast; and the Greek Islands. Nino Zoccali’s love of the floating city began many years ago when, just 21, he visited Venice for the first time. Executive chef and proprietor of Sydney’s The Restaurant Pendolino and La Rosa The Strand, Nino is also an international olive oil expert and writes regularly for esteemed lifestyle, food and wine publications. He is the author of Pasta Artigiana, also published by Murdoch Books.