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Beginnings: My Way To Start a Meal Hardcover – May 8, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Healthy Pasta: The Sexy, Skinny, and Smart Way to Eat Your Favorite Food by Joseph Bastianich
An easy-to-use cookbook
Simple ways to make pasta an integral part of a healthy and well-balanced life style--even gluten-free-- the beloved first family of Italian American cooking. Learn more | See related books
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Though long a fearless pioneer and innovator on the San Francisco Bay Area scene, Chris Cosentino's excellent book offers comfort, reassurance and an array of enticing possibilities. If you thought you had enough "Italian" cookbooks? You clearly don't." (Anthony Bourdain)

"Chris cooks with a lot of heart. And you see that in his restaurant, in his cured meats, and in this cookbook. He takes care with each and every ingredient and shows you how to make them astonishing." (José Andrés)

"When I met Chris, he was known as a chef with a peerless reputation for cooking offal and variety meats. Over the years of our friendship, I have come to love and admire him as a brilliant and creative technician, one of the best chefs in the country, a culinary daredevil without boundaries. That being said, the best thing he ever made me to eat was a humble bowl of noodles that remain the benchmark against which I measure all pasta courses. I am thrilled that Chris has put all of that genius into a book that is as satisfying for the food geek as it is for a family to pull weeknight dinners from. It's a stunning debut of workable recipe authorship from a thinking man's chef." (Andrew Zimmern)

"Chris built his reputation on cooking hearts, brains, and kidneys, but it's the soul in his food that sets him apart from his peers." (Tom Colicchio)

About the Author

Chris Cosentino graduated from the culinary program at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island and went on to build his résumé at several top restaurants in Washington, DC and in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he resides today. Chris took his first executive chef position at Incanto restaurant in 2002 where he continues to create inspired and innovative interpretations of rustic Italian fare. Chris is also the co-founder of Boccalone artisanal salumeria and has gained international acclaim as a leading expert and proponent of offal cookery. Chris has appeared on numerous television cooking shows, has been featured in many national publications, and has consulted on a line of clothing, shoes, and knives, to name just a few of his many ongoing projects.

Michael Harlan Turkell is a once-aspiring chef and now freelance photographer. Based in Brooklyn, he is the former photo editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan, and captures the inner workings of kitchens for his award-winning “Back of the House” project, which documents the working lives of chefs. Michael’s work has garnered industry awards and has been published in an array of magazines and books. He also hosts a show on HeritageRadioNetwork.com called “The Food Seen,” which touches on the intersections of food and art.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Olive Press (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616282940
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616282943
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #505,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kris on June 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is great and I was really upset no one else has reviewed it yet. Several really nice recipes. Great little blurbs from the author.

You expect more offal recipes but there are a few foie gras and one tripe. The rest of the recipes are more focused on seasonal ingredients and really approachable.

If you are familiar with the author you may wish for more salumi an offal dishes. But, one believes that those books will come. There is really nice section in the front o the book about different cured and aged meats. Also, I really enjoyed the section on cheeses.

Overall a good book and I am looking forward to others from Chris constentino.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm very surprised by the low number of reviews for this book given Chris Cosentino's presence in food television (Food Network, Top Chef) and the San Francisco and national food scene. This cookbook is very fun and inspiring. I judge a cookbook by how many recipes I actually want to make from it, and I can say that it is about 90%+ for this book.

There were several reasons for my purchase of this book, despite a bookshelf sagging underneath the weight of my obscene cookbook collection:
1) Interesting concept: I like the idea of a collection of starter/appetizer recipes. Although, don't be turned off by thinking that it is limited in scope, because many of these recipes can be scaled to serve as a main course (both light and hearty ones).

2) Interest in supporting a local chef: I live 3 blocks from Cosentino's restaurant in San Francisco, Incanto, which is a fabulous place. I occasionally see him holding staff meetings as I walk or run by the restaurant.

3) Interest in supporting a very creative, smart (and nice!) chef: After watching his performance on Top Chef Masters, I can say that Chris seems to be an incredibly inventive and interesting chef that pushes the envelope to make delicious food without resorting to gimmicks (i.e. like some in the molecular gastronomy field). In addition, having once bumped into Cosentino, I can say that he is very pleasant in person.

OK, but what about this book? I have read all the recipes almost cover to cover, and have to say that I am very impressed with the collection. First, I enjoy the philosophy of the book and the way the recipes are written. This book doesn't do too much hand holding.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had the pleasure of living blocks away from Chris' last restaurant, Incanto, eating there sometimes twice a week for almost a decade. His food is simply incredible. His menu changed almost daily, so I've sampled - more than once - many, if not most, of these recipes. It is great to see all those amazing dishes consolidated into one book. I pull this book from my shelves often. I lend it out to friends until they are convinced to buy a copy for themselves. I remind them that Chris won Top Chef Masters cooking many of these dishes. As far as I am concerned this is an essential arrow in your cookbook quiver. Make it happen people. Buy this book and dig in.
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Format: Hardcover
This book contains many disturbing images that border on the "erotic" and it should not be looked at upon an empty stomach. Don't fear. Read On...

Your reviewer became positively hungry and was forced to find some snacks due to sudden increasing pangs of hunger as each page of this book was turned. Lunch was too far away to wait. The images within this book are so explicitly attractive that one could have devoured them - if it had not been only a digital representation on a computer screen. On the printed page one can speculate they are even more glossy and succulent. Not so many cookery books encourage such behaviour, so this is a great initial impression from this book that features antipasti recipes by San Francisco-based celebrity chef Chris Cosentino. Photographer Michael Harlan Turkell must also be given a round of applause for the visual stimulus!

The book starts with a bit of (according to this reviewer) slightly over-the-top navel gazing and introspection/a look at why the author is such a good chap-sort of text. Nothing personal, but that style just doesn't gel here. This is soon forgotten as you start to see those gorgeous photographs. If the author's recipes even taste a fraction as good as they look well, wow!

This is more than a recipe book. There is a great, informal overview with lots of innovative, stylish visuals to the core components of antipasti and how to select and best incorporate them. Placed inbetween are dozens of great recipes, split into seasonal categories for convenience. There is, of course, no reason why a favoured winter dish could not be served in the summer, but if you want to make the most of the freshest, latest seasonal ingredients sometimes you have to either wait or compromise. Your choice!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've always been a fan of Chris Cosentino's cooking (and Twitter feed) so I was excited to finally have a cookbook from him. This book reflects his signature style and will make a welcome addition to your cookbook shelf.
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