Greek by Heritage, Italian by Heart by Marcia Georges, published by Brolga Publishing
For anyone who lived in Brisbane in the 60’s and 70’s this book is a great trip down memory lane. Marcia Georges’ delightful story starts with the cafes and restaurant owned by her father Michael Karlos and the early part of the book features the Greek food that was familiar from his homeland. In later years Michael Karlos introduced Brisbane people to a glamourous style of dining at the Camelia Restaurant and the menu featured dishes that were considered the epitome of fine dining such as Steak Diane, Lobster Thermidor and Bombe Alaska. It was an elegant restaurant with much attention being paid by the staff to the dining guests. He also opened the Carolena and Cubana Coffee Lounges in Brisbane and I well remember feeling very sophisticated when going to my favourite, the Cubana with my friends after work.
Marcia also tells of her marriage to Andy Georges and his entry into the restaurant industry through to the opening of their current restaurant Il Centro at Eagle Street Pier in 1992 but above all it is a story of family.
For a restaurant to stay in business for twenty years is quite an accolade in these fickle financial times. Il Centro has had some excellent head chefs over the years and the signature dish of Sand Crab Lasagne has not left the menu since its opening, such is its popularity.
The recent addition of Mr & Mrs G Riverbar overlooking the Brisbane River and the Story Bridge is the latest part of Marcia’s story and is fast becoming “the” place to meet for drinks.
I’m looking forward to recreating some of my memories over the holiday period by cooking a few of my favourites out of the book.
All royalties from the sale of this book will go to the Cancer and Bowel Research Trust and the book is available at all good book stores.