From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In one of the more creative yet accessible Italian cookbooks to come along, Carmellini (formerly chef of A Voce in New York City) presents spectacular recipes while opening a window onto his life with food, from his Italian-American boyhood and cooking school to revelations while traveling in Italy and being a top New York chef. An extensive personal introduction as well as ample side notes and recipe introductions offer extra insight into his approach to food. The recipes, which come from all over Italy and mix regional Italian and American influences, are arranged classically, from antipasti to dolci. Many seem typical Italian fare, yet Carmellini gives them an idiosyncratic touch that heightens flavors and makes them work for the modern cook, whether that means an intriguing beet and grapefruit salad or meatballs with cherries. Some recipes are simple but time-consuming, as he candidly admits, yet he walks through the steps so patiently that a determined cook at almost any skill level will manage. Carmellini shows why he is considered one of the country's best young chefs, and a natural teacher. (Oct.)
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Creative yet accessible. Carmellini presents spectacular recipes while opening a window onto his life with food, from his Italian-American boyhood and cooking school to revelations while traveling in Italy and being a top New York chef. Carmellini gives [the recipes] an idiosyncratic touch that heightens flavors and makes them work for the modern cook at any skill level. Carmellini shows why he is considered one of the country's best young chefs, and a natural teacher. (Publishers Weekly (starred)
Andrew Carmellini's Urban Italian
is that rare breed of cookbook: written by a skilled, top-tier professional, yet at all times accessible, unintimidating, and inspiring to the home cook. In short, it's everything a cookbook should be. The conversational style provides both a thrilling introduction and the feeling, while cooking, that the chef is standing next to in the kitchen, forgiving your mistakes, urging you along, painlessly expanding your reservoir of knowledge. In a world awash with Italian cookbooks, this one's a must-have. (Anthony Bourdain
Andrew Carmellini is an enormously talented chef who brings a distinctive style and voice to his restaurant. Urban Italian
captures that style and voice for the home cook with intriguing recipes--and also with great stories about the cook's life, written with a candor and bravado not typically found in chefs' cookbooks. A terrific book. (Michael Ruhlman
Andrew's passion for Italy is contagious. Urban Italian
is entertaining, informative, and witty. (Eric Ripert
This would be a great book if it did nothing more than faithfully capture between covers the great food served at A Voce. But, marvel of marvels, the modest-but-confident chef I've admired for so long for his cooking can also write his ass off. Urban Italian
is every bit as intimate, profane, soulful, and amusing as Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential.
To paraphrase Andrew himself on the subject of cooking, this book engages your senses, takes your mind off your day-to-day problems, and makes both the reader and (I'm pretty sure) the writer happy. (Sara Moulton
Like many Italian American chefs, myself included, Andrew had to go through France to get to Italy. Urban Italian
takes the reader on that journey. Fabulous recipes, of course, but just as important are the stories that informed the heart and soul of this great chef. (Tom Colicchio