Simple Recipes and True Stories From A Life in FoodBook - 2008
While waiting for construction to finish on his restaurant A Voce, Andrew Carmellini faced an unusual challenge. After a brilliant career in professional kitchens (including a 6-year tour as chef de cuisine at Café Boulud), he was faced with the harsh reality of life as a civilian cook: no prep cooks, no saucier, no daily deliveries - just him and his wife in their tiny Manhattan-apartment kitchen.
Urban Italian is made up of the recipes that result when a great chef has to use the same resources available to the rest of us. In these hundred recipes - covering five distinct courses, cocktails, and base recipes - Carmellini shows how to make stunning, soulful food with nothing more than the ingredients, techniques, and time available to the ordinary home cook. Recipes include crisped artichokes with yogurt, mint, and sauce picante; duck meatballs with cherry moustarda sauce; roast pork with Italian plums and grappa; spicy cod with rock shrimp; and marinated grapes with red-wine granita.
Along with the recipes (beautifully photographed by Quentin Bacon), Carmellini and his wife, Gwen Hyman, have written a number of sections to help readers bring home more of a great chef's experience. These begin with a narrative that traces Andrew's culinary education, and continue with short pieces on places and ingredients, placed alongside recipes to shed light on the history and practice of simple, beautiful cooking.