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Flavors of the Riviera Hardcover – October 1, 1996


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Amazon.com Review

For all the demands it makes on one's imagination, the Riviera is but a scrap of beach to the whole body of the Mediterranean, a maritime nook where France meets Italy and mountains meet sea. Genoa is the main Italian city of the region, Nice speaks for the French, and the Riviera is more or less everything in between. It's a land of ancient languages still spoken and equally old traditions still practiced. Colman Andrews brings it all to life. His Flavors of the Riviera can't be called a cookbook and left at that; there's far too much more going on. The recipes lead the food adventurer deeper and deeper into the country. Andrews combines a scholar's taste for history and culture with a sybarite's joy at a well-laid table, allowing you to smell and taste the food as you learn about its origins. There's more to it than Salade Niçoise--though that dish is here--or ratatouille. Although wealth and privilege come immediately to mind when the Riviera is considered, the food itself rises out of poverty. The central food tradition, then, is one of maximizing the flavors of humble ingredients--that, and making the unexpected guest feel welcome. Andrews not only takes you there, but he shows you how it's done, all with grace, style, and a keen sense of pleasure.

From Publishers Weekly

The executive editor of Saveur magazine and author of Catalan Cuisine leads a lively and informative tour of the fabled French and Italian coastline that is a treat for the armchair traveler as well as the cook. Punctuated with amusing essays and quotations and illustrated with eight pages of color photographs, the text and nearly 150 recipes give a compelling picture of this region's cuisine, which is, according to the author, often misunderstood. Despite the Riviera's reputation for opulence, many of its best dishes were born of native frugality and based on imaginative combinations of homey ingredients. Some recipes will be familiar?Ratatouille and Pissaladiere for example, but even old favorites have a twist (the French don't cook the vegetables in a real Salade Nicoise) and there are some light, unusual dishes such as Tagliatelle with Green Beans, Potatoes and Pesto and Fresh Cod with Anchovy Vinaigrette. Divided into sections which largely follow the terrain (e.g., "From the Farms and Gardens," "The Sea"), the book includes a detailed chapter on wines, a guide to some local restaurants, sources for hard-to-find ingredients and an extensive bibliography.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1St Edition edition (October 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055309159X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553091595
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 8.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #471,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Colman Andrews' first cookbook, "Catalan Cuisine", originally published in 1988, was recently named one of the "50 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by the Observer Food Monthly; his most recent one, "The Country Cooking of Ireland", was honored as Best International Cookbook by the James Beard Foundation in 2010 and beat out all other entries in all categories as foundation's Cookbook of the Year, then went on to win the 2011 Best International Cookbook prize from the International Association of Cooking Professionals. Andrews was a co-founder of Saveur, and its editor-in-chief from 2002 to 2006. After leaving the magazine, he became the restaurant columnist for Gourmet, serving in that capacity until its untimely demise. A native of Los Angeles with degrees in history and philosophy from UCLA, he was a restaurant reviewer and restaurant news columnist for the Los Angeles Times, and for three years edited "Traveling in Style", the Times travel magazine. Throughout the 1980s, he was wine and spirits columnist for Los Angeles Magazine, and published widely as a freelance writer, covering food, wine, travel, music, art, architecture, design, and the entertainment industry. The recipient of eight James Beard awards, Andrews is the co-author and co-editor of three Saveur cookbooks and six of his own books on food: "Everything on the Table"; "Flavors of the Riviera"; "Catalan Cuisine" (which introduced the now-trendy cooking of Spain's Catalonia region to America); "The Country Cooking of Ireland"; "Ferran: The Inside Story of El Bulli and the Man Who Reinvented Food" (a biography of Catalan superchef Ferran Adrià, also available in Spanish, French, and Italian translations); and "The Country Cooking of Italy". His next book, "The Taste of America", will be published in the fall of 2013. Andrews is now editorial director of The Daily Meal, a food and wine mega-site (www.thedailymeal.com), and has recently completed writing the first-ever Spanish Culinary curriculum, in partnership with José Andrés, for New York's International Culinary Center. In 2012, Andrews was awarded the Creu de Sant Jordi, the highest civil honor granted by the government of Catalonia, in recognition of his services in popularizing Catalan cuisine around the world.

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on December 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
`Flavors of the Riviera' by leading culinary journalist and executive editor of `Saveur' magazine, Colman Andrews, could just as easily be identified as `The Cuisine of Liguria' (more on this later) but the most important message of this book is in its subtitle, `Discovering Real Mediterranean Cooking'.

In many ways, this book belongs to that noble clan of books on Italian regional cooking exemplified by Arthur Schwartz's `Naples at Table', Fred Plotkin's `La Terra Fortunata' on the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and Lynne Rosetto Kaspar's `The Splendid Table' on the cuisine of Emilia-Romagna. To some people, including myself, the Riviera in the title primarily evokes France of Cannes and Toulon and Marseilles. Actually, the proper geographical region `Riviera' is in three parts, the larger two being in the Italian region of Liguria from La Spezia in the east to Sanremo in the west. The smallish French portion of the true Riviera is the Mediterranean coast from Menton to Nice, including the principality of Monaco. To make the picture even more Italian, Mr. Andrews relates how this French region was for several centuries part of an Italian region, conquered for France by Napoleon in his invasion of Italy and ceded permenantly to France in an election coinciding with the unification of Italy under Garibaldi. In fact, the dialects of these French and Italian provinces is its own Latin based language sounding part French and part Italian.

So, while the Riviera is largely Italian Liguria, it is not all of Liguria, because this coastline is bordered by steep hills and mountains, being the foothills of the Alps and the Apennines. The region is dominated by two cities, Genoa, the capitol of Liguria and Nice, the fourth largest city in France.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 21, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Colman Andrews was my roomate's boyfriend when I lived in LA in the 60's, and it is a pleasure to see that the very handsome young writer and foodie became so distinguished in his career path. In those days he and my roomate would often go off to Italy or Yugoslavia (the Dalmatian Coast) on trips that always encompassed dining excursions; hilarious stories of these events made the trips come alive for me upon their return. Colman is as interesting a person as is his writing, and this book is unlike any other cookbook I have read, as it is as much a travel book as cookbook. He is also editor of Saveur Magazine...this man knows cooking and travel and writes intelligently and humorously on both subjects. Even if you don't cook, you will be entertained, enlightened by the information on food, produce, wine, language, history and probably you will want to book a seat on the next flight to the Riviera within the first few pages!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By George Eliot on March 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A book I refer to constantly. None of the recipes are difficult, and the flavors complex. Brilliantly written. A real treasure. The pesto castelnuovo recipe has become one of my favorite comfort foods!
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