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‘Not enough time’: Cavallo decides not to seek Mildura Rural City Council re-election

Nick Cavallo is the second Mildura Rural City councillor to decide not to seek re-election in November.
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The Mildura businessman wants to regain the 20 to 30 hours he spends each week on council commitments and hopes to achieve a better work-life balance.

For similar reasons in March this year, councillor Fiona Hilton-Wood decided against nominating for a second term.

She wanted to spend more time with family and focus on the law firm she runs with her husband.

Both Cr Cavallo and Cr Hilton-Wood will remain dedicated to their council roles until the end of October, just before the election in November.

As well as fulfilling his weekly council commitments, Cr Cavallo is a partner in Leading Edge Computers Mildura, president of Mildura Settlers’ Cricket Club and a committee member with groups including Willowfest, the Iluka Environment Review committee and Sunraysia Sustainability Network.

He said his decision not to run again was “not made lightly”.

“Basically it’s a combination of things, I couldn’t sustain what I did,” he said.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Tuesday’s Sunraysia Daily 18/09/2012.

Standing down: Councillor Nick Cavallo has decided not to stand for re-election in the Mildura Rural City Council election in November.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Mayoral race in the dark

Dubbo has one candidate for mayor and one for deputy mayor, but most councillors are keeping their cards close to their chest.
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Incumbent Mathew Dickerson will seek to return to the top job on Thursday while re-elected councillor Lyn Griffiths has announced she will stand for deputy mayor.

Those positions and committee leaders will be subject to a vote at an extraordinary meeting of the new Dubbo City Council on Thursday.

The civic leaders – four new to the role and seven returning – have big decisions before them.

Cr Ben Shields gained the most votes and was the first candidate declared, but he declined to comment on the mayoral race yesterday.

Cr Dickerson gained the second-most votes followed by newcomer John Walkom.

Cr Dickerson said he thought he had worked hard to be a positive representative for Dubbo as mayor and the other leadership positions needed to be filled – for at least the first year of the term – by people with some experience.

When asked if it made sense to have Cr Shields in one of the two top roles, Cr Dickerson said he was not sure of his colleague’s intentions.

“At this stage Ben hasn’t contacted me and asked for my vote so I am not even certain if he will be standing for the position,” Cr Dickerson said.

“If he contacts me and informs me that he is standing and wants my vote I will certainly listen to his reasons why he would make a good deputy mayor.”

Deputy mayor-hopeful Cr Griffiths said Cr Shields’ good poll result was a moot point because Dubbo did not have a popularly-elected mayor.

“The factors that I consider important are the ability of the nominated person to work hard for Dubbo and to work with other councillors in a positive and productive manner,” she said.

Cr Rod Towney ruled out any run for a position and gave his support to Cr Dickerson and Cr Griffiths.

“Mathew Dickerson has done a good job, going out on a limb to try to bring councillors together,” he said.

“For all the females around town it would be good to have a woman as deputy mayor, and Lyn has the runs on the board.”

Bill Kelly ruled out nominating for a position and although he would not declare his support for anyone, he said he knew which way he would vote and why.

“I’m not prepared to discuss this now, you’ll see on Thursday,” he said.

“I have my mind made up and the reasons and then I’ll be doing my best to unify the council.”

He said the actions during the next 12 months of those he voted for would decide whether his support was ongoing.

Mr Walkom was also coy about commenting on the race.

“To ensure a cohesive united council for which I have been a great advocator during my campaign for election to council, I think it prudent that the process of the election of the various positions on council be left to the democratic process of the meeting this coming Thursday,” he said.

Cr Tina Reynolds also said the discussion about the leadership positions should be amongst the 11 councillors, not played out in the media.

The Daily Liberal had not received any other responses to its request for comment from all councillors-elect at the time of going to press.

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Supporters scramble to spin Labor’s gains

SUPPORTERS of the Prime Minister, the Opposition Leader and the people who most covet their jobs were all claiming vindication yesterday after two major national opinion polls that showed Labor closing the gap on the Coalition.
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Both the Herald/Nielsen poll and Newspoll showed Labor clawing back ground against the Coalition, while Julia Gillard’s personal ratings were rising and Tony Abbott’s falling.

As Mr Abbott’s senior shadow ministers rushed to defend him as a good person being vilified, Liberals confided they were relieved that the gap had narrowed because hubris had begun to settle in and the party needed a wake-up call.

”It doesn’t hurt that he’s had a bit of a belt under the ears … We’re taking too much for granted,” a senior party source said of Mr Abbott.

The Herald poll showed that while the Coalition would still win if an election were held today, Mr Abbott’s personal standing was at a record low and twice as many voters preferred Malcolm Turnbull as leader. The Newspoll showed Labor has pulled even with the Coalition and the two-party preferred vote was 50-50.

The Deputy Opposition Leader, Julie Bishop, was Mr Abbott’s main defender yesterday. She said the polls were always going to tighten up and she attributed the plunge in Mr Abbott’s fortunes to the damaging allegations last week that he physically intimidated a female student at university 35 years ago, saying this was part of a broader strategy by Labor to demonise Mr Abbott.

Ms Bishop and the manager of opposition business, Christopher Pyne, argued Mr Abbott was misunderstood. Both pointed out how he had spent Saturday with his local fire brigade, helping with back burning, while on Sunday he helped a blind man run a full marathon.

The government was not getting carried away but several MPs and ministers said there was a softening of hostility towards the government, largely because the carbon tax had not proved to be the monster the opposition claimed it would be.

”This is a campaign that has hit a brick wall of reality,” the senior minister Anthony Albanese said.

While Labor was improving under Ms Gillard, the Herald poll showed the government’s primary vote would jump 10 percentage points to 44 per cent if Mr Rudd were leader.

Supporters of Ms Gillard said these numbers would evaporate quickly if there were a change of leader and they said the steady improvement should keep the Rudd camp at bay.

”It may not [keep him quiet] but it deflates his tyres,” one said.

But a Rudd supporter took a different view: ”We might win with her; we will win with him.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Changing nature of a bushwalk in 2070

GOING for a bushwalk in the year 2070 will be an almost unrecognisable experience.
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”It will look different, it will sound different, it will probably even smell different,” said Michael Dunlop, a senior CSIRO researcher, who helped produce the first comprehensive national report into the effects of climate change on biodiversity.

An increasing ”sameness” would characterise the landscape, as rainforest became dry forest, woodland became scrubland, and scrub bled into open grassland, Dr Dunlop said.

As a result, many of the ecological patterns that have become familiar would erode away, the report found.

Sophisticated climate and data measurement models were deployed to isolate 23 types of ecological environment around the continent, then track how they are likely to respond to rising temperatures. The models point to rapid change. By 2030, a transformation of many natural environments will be well under way, and by 2070, they will be obvious.

As well as experiencing higher temperatures, many habitats will be drier and prone to more frequent fires, said the report, The Implications of Climate Change for Biodiversity Conservation and the National Reserve System. Some animal and plant species might benefit from the changes, but the models predicted that by about 2070, the net effect on biodiversity would be a decidedly negative one.

The report said climate change was overlaid on existing environmental problems, such as encroaching development on wilderness areas and battles over water resources, and magnified their effects on stressed plants and animals. The researchers hope their study, which took three years to complete, will start a conversation about the meaning of ”conservation”.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Whistleblowers retrenched

TWO of three CSIRO employees who blew the whistle on alleged ”criminal or civil breaches of the law” by the scientific organisation were later made redundant, it has been revealed.
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But the officials who were the subject of the complaints remain employed, the CSIRO has confirmed.

The details have emerged after a group of former CSIRO employees began a campaign for a change in culture, alleging mismanagement and bullying were rife.

Last Thursday, a parliamentary inquiry examining workplace bullying in Commonwealth agencies published the group’s submission. It claims the group is aware of 60 cases of top-flight scientists and other officials who were bullied or otherwise forced out.

This list has names on it such as Maarten Stapper, a soil scientist allegedly pushed out because of his criticism of genetically modified crops, globally recognised oceanographer Trevor McDougall, and award-winning entomologist Sylwester Chyb, who has begun litigation against the CSIRO for misleading conduct and unlawful termination. The CSIRO has declined to respond to the allegations, but the group says some of those forced out had tried to report misconduct or maladministration. Among the group’s recommendations is improved protection for whistleblowers.

”Current whistleblower legislation does not adequately protect from persecution those making public interest declarations,” the document says.

”This is particularly true in circumstances in which it is hard to identify a direct link between a whistleblower complaint and subsequent, seemingly unrelated, adverse action against the employee in his or her workplace.”

The organisation is also grappling with a spike in the damages it has had to pay as a result of occupational health and safety claims made to the Commonwealth OH&S regulator and insurer, Comcare. The increased cost of the claims has meant that the premiums Comcare charges the CSIRO have nearly tripled, from $1.9 million in 2011-12 to $4.9 million this financial year.

At a budget estimates hearing in May, Tasmanian senator David Bushby asked the CSIRO about its handling of whistleblower complaints and those who made them. In answers provided last month, it confirmed two complaints were lodged in 2010 and one in 2008, all of which made serious allegations about unlawful activity.

But while the CSIRO did not retrench any of those against whom allegations were made, it did retrench two complainants.

”One CSIRO employee, who had lodged a whistleblower complaint on March 10, 2008, was made redundant on August 23, 2010, as there was an insufficient volume of … work to sustain the position,” it said.

”A second employee, who lodged a whistleblower complaint on February 23, 2010, was made redundant on September 4, 2011, as CSIRO no longer required the job be performed by anyone because of changes in operational requirements.”

CSIRO spokesman Huw Morgan declined to give details of the allegations made by the whistleblowers, saying it might help reveal their identity.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Food-labelling bill puts Greens in hot water

THE major parties have lashed the Greens for rushing in a bill to change country of origin food-labelling rules, without consulting them or properly analysing the impact on the food processing sector.
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The Greens yesterday introduced legislation to Parliament that would define country of origin labelling to better reflect where raw produce originated.

At present, if more than half of the packaging costs are incurred in Australia and goods have been substantially processed here, regardless of where the basic produce is from, the item can be labelled ”made in”.

The bill is based on a 2011 review of Australia and New Zealand’s food-labelling standards.

The Greens say it will help people who want to buy Australian products, and local farmers. AUSVEG, which represents 9000 vegetable and potato growers, and consumer group Choice have welcomed the bill. Choice, however, warned the Greens Australians still wanted to know where products were made.

The federal government says it is already working with state governments to respond to the review’s recommendations.

A spokeswoman for Industry and Innovation Minister Greg Combet said the Greens ignored that the Commonwealth could not unilaterally change food-labelling laws and codes.

”The Greens have rushed in with private member’s legislation that involved little analysis of the impact on the food processing sector,” she said. ”Country of origin labelling rules need to give consumers accurate and useful information without imposing unnecessary costs on the food-processing sector, which could ultimately hurt food producers and consumers.”

Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce, who co-sponsored a similar bill with the Greens and Senator Nick Xenophon in 2009, said while the Greens’ idea had merit, the party was going about it the wrong way.

Senator Joyce said the Coalition was working towards a position and warned such tactics by the Greens could set the issue back by making it a partisan matter.

”This is typical Greens, they never negotiate with anybody, they just rush in,” Senator Joyce said. ”Any fool can bring in a bill, but it actually takes authenticity to do the work to gather the numbers so you can achieve an outcome. To the best of my knowledge they have not contacted anybody.”

Greens leader Senator Christine Milne said given the issue had been on the agenda for several years, and that the government had still not responded to the review presented in January 2011, ”it is hard to see how anyone is rushing into anything”.

“This bill builds on years of public work, has been developed in consultation with a range of stakeholders and, as is standard practice, we hope to see it referred to a Senate inquiry. I look forward to Labor and the Nationals engaging in good-faith discussions about how it might be improved,” she said.

Coles merchandise director John Durkan said the company would be happy to see more stringent labels to help shoppers make informed choices.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Hate-mongering rioters wield religion to express deep-seated resentment

IT’S all so predictable. Someone sets out to provoke Muslims with perhaps the most amateurish, inept and unconvincing piece of footage ever published – Innocence of Muslims – and are duly obliged with a massive over-reaction.
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Just as with the Danish cartoon scandals of 2006, the extremists sought to prove Islam is a religion of peace by killing a few Christians and burning churches, so they prove religious maturity by rioting.

The richest irony is that no one would have noticed this ham-fisted message of hate without the worldwide exposure given by those wanting to silence it. What has brought shame on Islam has been the ugliness of a few Muslims.

It’s new and disturbing to see this in Australia, though. The rage is not really about the obviously silly film but wider resentments. The rioters ache to be provoked, to express their rage and humiliation. In chat rooms and social media they are alert for every slight.

In Australia, as Muslims integrate into mainstream society they learn to take the rough with the smooth – Christians and secularists are both used to vitriolic contempt from the far fringes of the other side – but there is no such impetus in Middle Eastern countries where the violence is really dangerous.

Nor is it all about religion, which is a convenient catch-all to express resentments – the context is far broader. The post-war pan-Arab movement was secular, but grew out of the same colonial humiliation; its failure and other historical developments, such as the Iranian Revolution that overthrew the Shah in Iran in 1979, have led to religion replacing nationalism.

In Australia, the majority of ordinary Muslims sigh and take a deep breath. They feel they shouldn’t have to disown this fringe again, but they must, and Muslim leaders and organisations have. And by extension people of all faiths get implicated. For example, The Age yesterday ran a letter with a call to categorise Christianity, Islam and Judaism ”terrorist organisations”. It’s time for everyone to take a deep breath and respond to what is actually happening, not their prejudices.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Whistleblowers at CSIRO forced out and ‘bullying rife’

Gone … Maarten Stapper.TWO of three CSIRO employees who blew the whistle on alleged ”criminal or civil breaches of the law” by the scientific organisation were later made redundant, it has been revealed.
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But those officials who were the subject of the complaints remain employed, the CSIRO has confirmed.

The details have emerged after a group of former CSIRO employees began a campaign for a change in culture at the science agency, alleging mismanagement and bullying are rife.

Last Thursday, a parliamentary inquiry examining workplace bullying in Commonwealth agencies published the group’s submission. It claims the group is aware of 60 cases involving top-flight scientists and other officials who were bullied or otherwise forced out of the organisation.

This list has names on it such as Maarten Stapper, a soil scientist allegedly pushed out because of his criticism of genetically modified crops, globally recognised oceanographer Trevor McDougall, and award-winning entomologist Sylwester Chyb, who has begun litigation against the CSIRO for misleading conduct and unlawful termination.

The CSIRO has declined to respond to the allegations, but the group says some of those forced out had tried to report misconduct or maladministration. Among the group’s recommendations is improved protection for whistleblowers.

”Current whistleblower legislation does not adequately protect from persecution those making public interest declarations,” the document says. ”This is particularly true in circumstances in which it is hard to identify a direct link between a whistleblower complaint and subsequent, seemingly unrelated adverse action against the employee in his or her workplace.”

The organisation is also grappling with a spike in the damages it has had to pay as a result of occupational health and safety claims made to the Commonwealth OH&S regulator and insurer, Comcare. The increased costs of the claims has meant that the premiums Comcare charges the CSIRO have nearly tripled from $1.9 million in 2011-12 to $4.9 million this financial year.

”The CSIRO has consistently achieved lower than average claim frequency and claim cost but has had an upward trend in the average cost of its claims,” a Comcare spokesman, Russ Street, said.

At a budget estimates hearing in May, the Tasmanian senator David Bushby asked the CSIRO about its handling of whistleblower complaints and those who made them. In answers provided last month, the organisation confirmed two complaints were lodged in 2010 and one in 2008, all of which made serious allegations about unlawful activity.

But while the CSIRO did not retrench any of those against whom allegations were made, it did retrench the complainants.

”One CSIRO employee, who had lodged a whistleblower complaint on March 10, 2008, was made redundant on August 23, 2010, as there was an insufficient volume of current and projected work to sustain the position,” the CSIRO said.

”A second employee, who lodged a whistleblower complaint on February 23, 2010, was made redundant on September 4, 2011 as CSIRO no longer required the job be performed by anyone because of changes in the operational requirements of CSIRO’s enterprise.”

A CSIRO spokesman, Huw Morgan, declined to describe the nature of the allegations made by the whistleblowers, saying it could help reveal their identities.

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Older mothers take a bow: study finds your children get better start

Helen Perks with four-year-old Eva and her seven-year-old Max.HELEN PERKS has heard all the negatives about being an older mother. But she isn’t buying them.
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”Some people say you’re going to be old and exhausted, but it works in the opposite way,” said Ms Perks, a web designer who had her first child, Max, when she was 40, and her second, Eva, when she was 43.

”In fact, it encourages you. You think, ”Well, I’m going to be older when I have my kids, so I have to keep myself healthy’.”

According to a major study, the children of older mothers are getting a better start in life in a variety of ways.

The British study said children born to women over 40 benefited from improved health and language development up to the age of five. It also found increasing maternal age was associated with children having fewer hospital admissions and accidents, a higher likelihood of having their immunisations by the time they were nine months old and fewer social and emotional difficulties.

Older mothers tend to be more educated, have higher incomes and be married – all factors associated with greater child wellbeing, said the study from University College London’s Institute of Child Health, which looked at data covering more than 78,000 children, and was published in the British Medical Journal.

In Australia, 4 per cent of the almost 300,000 women who gave birth in 2009 were aged 40-plus. Gino Pecoraro, a spokesman for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said older mothers tended to be more established, educated, mature and financially settled, helping with language development and the potentially improved supervision of children.

”At least, for a change, the headlines are pointing out something good about being older as it is usually all so dismal,” said Hannah Dahlen, the associate professor of midwifery at the University of Western Sydney and national spokeswoman for the Australian College of Midwives.

Ms Dahlen gave birth to her daughter a few weeks before her 40th birthday.

”It is well known that this phenomenon exists with children born to older mothers but most of the association is due to higher education and social advantage,” she said.

”The higher educated a mother in particular is the more financially stable she is and the more likely you will see children with better linguistic skills.”

Ms Perks said she was a more grounded person in her 40s than earlier in her life.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Turnover, new leaves

Cuts the mustard … Tony Mann nurtures rare herbs at Petite Bouche in Ingleside.To everything there is a season. When June Henman sold the Salad Farm in 2010, her abundant crop of leaves entered its winter. It had been a thriving supplier of rare and decorative leaf varieties to some of the best restaurants in Sydney, but under the new owners, the property fell into disrepair. The plants died.
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Then, in September last year, Tony Mann, a Flemington Markets salad agent, bought the Ingleside farm, near Mona Vale, and renamed it Petite Bouche. Now, in spring, a lush carpet of herbs thrives beneath the greenhouse canopy, Henman has come back as an adviser and chefs are once more clamouring for produce.

”I wanted to create something different,” Mann says. ”A lot of the chefs are going to the market now a lot more than they used to. It’s about producing something new.”

Petite Bouche is a dedicated herb farm, with exotic seeds imported from around the world. Many of them are not grown anywhere else in Australia, and they are treated delicately, grown hydroponically using recycled rainwater and harvested with hairdresser scissors. Wandering down the rows on a sunny morning, Mann and Henman fall upon each of their treasures with naked pleasure.

”This is my baby,” Mann says, pointing to an ice plant, which is named for the illusion of frost on its succulent leaves. ”We didn’t know if we could do it, we didn’t know if it would germinate. We put some samples into the market and the chefs are like, ‘Oh my god, this is something else.”’

Stridolo, also known as ”the forager’s herb”, is a wild Italian herb with a flavour as meaty as mushrooms. ”It’s just completely alien, isn’t it?” Mann says.

Land seaweed, or okahijiki, grows in Japanese marshlands and looks like skinny worms. The texture is crunchy.

Borage – ”the herb of gladness” – dates from the 1400s and was used to flavour ales. Henman likens the flavour to oysters.

Mustard plants grow in England and France, and to eat them is to experience the odd sensation of munching a table condiment. ”There are just so many different types of mustard, and we’re the only ones doing it,” Mann says.

The prize for the herb least likely goes to the sweet cicely, known more exotically as myrrh, which grows wild in England. With growing conditions at odds to its natural environment, Mann and Henman had no idea whether it would germinate on Sydney’s northern beaches, but they decided to try.

Their success rate for germinating untried herbs is about 70 per cent, but they start with low expectations. ”We kind of, like, don’t expect it to happen,” Mann says. ”It’s very much pot luck.”

Once the sweet cicely seeds arrived, Mann and Henmann planted them in soil and put them in a freezer set at minus 6 degrees. After a few weeks, they brought the temperature up to zero , then plunged it back to minus 6, then finally brought it up to 4 degrees.

To their surprise, the seeds started to shoot. ”When we saw the sweet cicely come up, we were blown away,” Mann says.

O Bar and Dining (formerly the Summit), Est, Quay and Oscillate Wildly are among the restaurants that use herbs from Petite Bouche.

While most of his customers are providores, Mann has noticed more chefs at the markets and buying direct, possibly as a result of difficult economic conditions.

He alerts them to the latest produce via Twitter. A recent post reads: ”Chinese flowering greens, tiny yellow flowers, sweet choy sum flavour, available at the market tomorrow.”

Mann and Henman bring complementary skill sets to the business. Henman is the green thumb. She reads seed catalogues like novels and is emotionally invested in the farm. When she saw its state of disrepair before Mann bought it, she nearly cried.

When the sweet cicely germinated, they cracked open the chardonnay. Mann is a former chef, and spends months putting together salad mixes.

The owner and chef of O Bar and Dining, Michael Moore, is often asked where he sources his herbs, particularly after using them on television shows.

Petite Bouche has been a boon to chefs looking for unique herbs of a consistently good quality, he says.

”They’re gorgeous, they look fantastic and it really adds to that element of freshness.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Greedy for the truth

Miraculous … Carluccio recommends toast with anchovies in green sauce to sate a salty craving.In Antonio Carluccio’s memoir you can hear the gruff voice of that larger-than-life quintessential Italian you’ll know from television. But you’ll also discover a lifetime of recurring depression and attempts at suicide. This is a man for whom outward bonhomie has hidden a terrible underlying despair.
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In conversation with Carluccio, he lets that low voice run on, answering questions as directly and fully as you could hope, so you get a sense of the man who loves people and communication. He says he has come to terms with the difficult parts of his life. So much so he has finally come clean on a crisis that made newspaper headlines four years ago when an injury to his chest (he stabbed himself with scissors) was announced as a kitchen accident. It was, in fact, one of at least four suicide attempts he recounts, since he took an overdose of sleeping pills as his first marriage fell apart in the mid-1970s.

Yes, Carluccio agrees, it takes courage to lay bare this part of his life, but he feels settled enough now to say it happened. The crisis with the scissors, he says, was ”the result of the moment”, the break-up of a relationship sparking a whisky-fuelled moment of madness.

As we speak, Carluccio is in the garden of his cul-de-sac home in London, where he says the day is a bit murky, but the garden is quiet and he is battling with squirrels for peaches. ”I try to defend the peaches with all my guts but I lose the battle,” he says. ”I know the right one is to share with nature but I am fed up with it.”

Writing his memoir has helped him understand his life, he says. And it’s all there for the reading – well, most of it. ”Absolutely what I wanted to achieve was to write the real thing, and there are some few bits and pieces that I didn’t enlarge or go in deep, for example, my relationship with the Conran family [Carluccio married Priscilla Conran, sister of Terence Conran, a big name in design and architecture]. Anyway, I did another version.” This second version is an oral history, where Carluccio recorded hours of interviews, now in the British Library with a stipulation they not be made available for 20 years. ”If somebody wants to know more of the nitty-gritty they can know it, but in 20 years’ time,” he says with a small chuckle.

One of the striking things about Carluccio’s memoir (among many, including the number of women in his life, the ease with which he fell in love and the inevitable collapse of the relationships, although eventually he settled into a 28-year marriage to Priscilla, from whom he split in 2008) is the circuitous route he took to a career in food.

After moving to London in 1975, he had to find work (he got a job selling Tuscan wine) and learn a difficult language, and he attributes a heart attack at 38 to the stress of it. By this time also, Carluccio had had his first depressive crisis in which he took an overdose of sleeping pills.

”My sadness has often played out in self-destructive ways as it’s not in my nature to inflict how I am feeling on others,” he writes. ”Indeed, I would go to great lengths, often at my most distressed, to keep how I was feeling from those around me, telling jokes and playing the convivial host when I felt quite desperate inside.”

He traces this sadness partly to the death of his younger brother in 1960. He was closest to his brother Enrico, whom he looked after.

”Of all my siblings, I found him the most similar in temperament to myself. He was a little quieter than the others … but with a strong imagination and sense of adventure, an urge to fly away and discover new places.”

When Enrico drowned while swimming at age 13, Carluccio says his heart was ”cauterised with grief”. Enrico’s death isolated members of the family. His mother seemed to ”collapse in on herself as if her life, too, were over”, and soon after, she turned to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, as did his sister, a conversion that apparently still rankles with Carluccio.

The day after his brother’s death, Carluccio bought a bunch of parsley and a kilogram of salted anchovies and set about the methodical task of rinsing and filleting the anchovies for bagna cauda, or salsa verde. He describes this as ”perhaps the first time I remember actively turning to the preparation of food in an effort to create some sort of meaning and purpose in my life when otherwise there was none”.

In London, Carluccio moved in restaurant circles, through his work selling wine and collecting mushrooms, and through brother-in-law Terence Conran, who owned the Neal Street Restaurant. He was encouraged to enter a newspaper cooking competition, and made it to the final. Conran asked him to manage the Neal Street Restaurant in 1981, and ”everything came together, and my professional career started 25 years ago”, Carluccio, now 75, says.

He eventually bought the restaurant, taking on Gennaro Contaldo, who became a lifelong friend and his offsider on BBC TV’s Two Greedy Italians, and also, briefly, Jamie Oliver as a pastry chef. Carluccio started a string of eponymous delicatessens then cafes in the 1990s, with phenomenal success (he no longer owns the chain). With television shows and books, his success in the food world was complete, but he was not happy. He felt his life was spiralling out of control and he had lost his name to a brand. In 2007, the Neal Street Restaurant was forced to close and Carluccio took to gambling – ”sheer, expensive escapism” – but, after an ultimatum from his wife, booked into an addiction centre. But 2008 was to bring another crisis, when his marriage to Priscilla finally ended and depression took hold again, along with gambling and whisky. ”It was an instinctive reaction to the intolerable pressure under which I found myself,” Carluccio says of the moment when he locked himself in the bathroom and used his body weight to shove scissors into his chest, penetrating the pleural cavity in his lungs.

During his recovery, Carluccio says, ”I don’t think I have ever felt more abandoned or alone or angry”.

At least he had something to look forward to that year, he writes – of all things, an invitation to Tasting Australia in Adelaide, ”which went some way to restoring my enthusiasm for life”.

Carluccio loves the simplicity and authenticity he finds in Australia’s food, in line with his philosophy: ”Minimum of fuss and maximum of flavour”, a line he truncates to ”mof mof”.

When Carluccio arrived in Britain in 1975, he confronted the era of freeze-dried mashed potato and instant puddings, but also the beginnings of an interest in Italian food. Carluccio describes what developed as ”Britalian” food: dishes such as spag bol, made with minced beef, rather than tagliatelle al ragu bolognese, which he says should be made with minced veal and pork.

Now, in Italy there’s a return to some of the traditional food, but he also points disapprovingly to the introduction of ingredients from other countries – oysters with chocolate! Carluccio is down on fusion in any guise, not just in Italy. He wants British cuisine to be true to its roots and he clearly likes food to be recognisable and simple. He’s not a fan of dishes that describe a long series of ingredients, many of which appear only fleetingly on the plate. Nor is he a fan of the style epitomised by Heston Blumenthal, whose food he doesn’t believe will stand the test of time. For Carluccio, food is not something ”banal to play with”.

He regrets not having children, but he has a girlfriend now, and he’s happy with his lot. Why wouldn’t he be, he asks, listing the good things in his life: a lovely garden and house, the ability to travel and meet people as he wants. Writing a memoir, he says, ”you see the life running just like a film”, which helps you discover the things that make you happy and the things that make you unhappy – and you learn that while you might wish for things to be different, you can’t change them.

”I was able to forge a life that was true to me,” he writes. ”And with my hand on my heart I can say, this is my story and I am happy with it.”Anchovies in green sauce

Various salsa verde or green sauces have been developed over the years by non-Italian chefs, which may be delicious, but which do not always correspond to the Italian taste. We normally use parsley, basil or rocket as the green base, and this one is made with parsley. When you come home and feel a little peckish for something salty, these anchovies on toasted bread are miraculous. Naturally the dish can be served as part of an antipasto.

300g perfect anchovy fillets in oil (Italian or Spanish are the best)

Salsa verde

1 fresh white bread roll

About 2 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 big bunch flat-leaf parsley, very finely chopped, without the stalks

1 small medium-hot chilli, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled and pureed

10 little cornichons (mini gherkins), very finely chopped

15 salted capers, soaked, drained and very finely chopped

Extra-virgin olive oil, as required

Drain the anchovies and put a layer of them in the bottom of a narrow ceramic container. You want to have several layers of anchovies, so don’t use too large a dish. To start the salsa, cut off the crust from the roll, and soak the inner crumbs in a little vinegar for a few minutes. Squeeze as dry as possible, then finely chop. Put into a bowl with the parsley, chilli, garlic, cornichons and capers and mix well, adding enough olive oil to achieve a sauce consistency. Cover the anchovies with a layer of green sauce, then top with another layer of anchovies. Repeat this until all the anchovies are covered with sauce. Add enough olive oil to cover everything and keep refrigerated for a day, after which you can start to use them. Keep refrigerated for up to a week. Serve with cold meats or as a dip with other canape-type dishes.

Makes a 300g batch

From Antonio Carluccio: A Recipe for Life.

Antonio Carluccio: A Recipe for Life (Hardie Grant, $39.95) and a new recipe collection, Antonio Carluccio: The Collection (Quadrille, $49.95), are published on October 1.Meet the man

Antonio Carluccio appears at the World Chef Showcase at the Crave Sydney International Food Festival in Sydney on October 6, see cravesydney南京夜网

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Pods of plenty

Green jewels … broad beans and mushroom with yoghurt dressing and parsley.WAYS WITH BROAD BEANS
Nanjing Night Net

Serve a simple starter of blanched, peeled broad beans drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with salt flakes, a few slices of prosciutto and salami and chunks of Parmigiano-Reggiano with crusty bread.

Puree cooked broad beans with garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Lightly brush salmon pieces with olive oil and cook in a grill pan until just tender. Serve the salmon on a bed of rocket leaves drizzled with olive oil and top with the broad bean puree.

Cook macaroni in lightly salted boiling water until al dente then drain, reserving a few tablespoons of cooking water. Toss pasta with cooked broad beans and peas, crumbled ricotta, grated lemon zest, halved baby artichokes (preserved in olive oil) and a splash of the cooking water. Serve topped with torn basil leaves.Broad beans and mushrooms with yoghurt dressing and parsley

300g button mushrooms 1 tbsp lemon juice 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil Salt and pepper 800g broad beans, podded 60g toasted pecans 1/4 tsp ground cumin 1/3 cup Greek yoghurt 1 tbsp tahini paste 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley

Slice mushrooms and place in a bowl. Mix lemon juice with two tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl, add to mushrooms and toss gently to combine. Set aside. Cook broad beans in boiling water for two minutes then drain and rinse under cold water. Slip each bean out of its skin and add to mushrooms with pecans. Stir well.

Combine cumin, yoghurt, tahini paste and remaining olive oil in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper and stir well. Serve vegetables topped with a dollop of yoghurt dressing and finish with parsley leaves.

Serves 4 as a side dish.Follow Cuisine on Twitter

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.