From Publishers Weekly
It's one thing to enjoy a masterfully prepared Italian meal, but something else entirely to experience it in a small trattoria nestled in the canyons near Bologna, and author Willinger (Eating in Italy) knows the difference; conveying the sensory splendor of her 30 years living, shopping and eating in Italy, Willinger makes a warm personal guide to her favorite shops, markets and vineyards, and the often colorful characters who operate them (aided throughout by Suzanne Heller's clever watercolors). Willinger introduces grocers like Salvatore de Gennaro and Anna Maria Cuomo, who stock artisan cheeses and salumi homemade by Salvatore's dad; and winemakers like Silvia Imparato, owner of Montevetrano, "one of the most exciting wineries in southern Italy." Each entry is followed by a recipe: Tuscan bakers Francesco and Elisabeth Pandolfini offer Brutto-Buoni, a traditional cookie laden with almonds and pine nuts, while Dario Cecchini, Italy's most famous butcher (featured in Bill Buford's Heat), gives tips on choosing and preparing steaks. Other standouts include artisan grappa, Amedei chocolateir in Tuscany and custom perfumier Lorenzo Villoresi in Florence. Culinarians will delight in her stories and recipes, though the book functions better as a guidebook for travelers; included are web sites, hours of operation and contact information that make arranging a personal visit easy.
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Faith Willinger's knowledge about Italy is all encompassing and her passion for its food and culture is contagious. In Adventures of An Italian Food Lover, Faith eloquently describes the beautiful regional foods that continue to be made, as they have for generations, with local, organic ingredients. This is an important book. - Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Restaurant
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Faith is usually the first with the scoop on anything new in the entire boot, and her love of Italians, Italian ingredients and Italian cooks are mellifluously evident in Adventures of an Italian Food Lover. She has a unique understanding of the regionally specific foods that make Italy the most delicious place on the planet, and this tome of magnificent recipes and tales from “foodies" in the true cook's Italy proves it’s not necessary to compromise authentic flavors to American tastes. Faith has an intuitive sense of the truly delicious, and as always, her inside knowledge is shared with joy and delightful prose. - Mario Batali
Faith Willinger’s great taste and her instinct for authenticity puts her in a class with Elizabeth David and Claudia Roden, and, just as important, she has the same easy, confident, approach to life in the kitchen. Adventures of an Italian Food Lover is a gift to my waiting pots and pans. - Jane Kramer, The New Yorker