From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Psilakis, highly acclaimed chef and owner of New York City's Kefi and Anthos, honors Greek cuisine in this nostalgic and charming book. More than a collection of recipes, this book is a celebration of Greek culture and its extraordinary effect on the author. Each section begins with a personal story demonstrating how his love of food was ingrained in him. The recipes that follow are organized by the foods tied to the experiences he describes. My Father's Garden pays homage to the family garden and includes a tantalizing recipe for sweet and sour eggplant and onion stew. Open Water includes grilled swordfish with tomato-braised cauliflower, and Kefi—A Time to Dance offers fried pork and beef meatballs and a variety of spreads including chickpea with roasted pepper and feta. Psilakis recounts a moving story about raising a young lamb and kid, resulting in recipes for both roasted leg of lamb and braised goat. The author includes a helpful list of ingredients for those less familiar with Greek cuisine and offers optional shortcuts, such as using high-quality prepared ingredients to aid those pressed for time. Complete with full color photographs of many dishes and numerous black and white family photos, the work enables readers to embrace not only Greek cuisine but its culture as well. (Oct.)
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New York never really appreciated great Greek cooking till Psilakis appeared on the Manhattan dining scene a few years ago. Psilakis’ restaurants became overnight sensations, offering intelligent cooking that presented classic Greek dishes done to perfection, unusual meats rarely seen outside Greece, and wholly imaginative adaptations of standard ingredients reworked with contemporary inspirations. At the heart of Greek cooking lie vegetables and seafood. Traditional small plates include four-cheese stuffed zucchini blossoms, artichokes, fish-roe spread, and garlicky potato puree, perfect for dipping. Cod, skate, octopus, and cuttlefish all star in grilled, fried, and stewed guises. Eggplant gets the royal treatment in moussaka, which Psilakis prepares with goat instead of lamb or beef. Not content with popular lasagna-like pastitsio, Psilakis deconstructs its components, even specifying handmade feta macaroni for a showstopping presentation. An important addition to any culinary library, not just ethnic Greek collections. --Mark Knoblauch