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Urban Italian: Simple Recipes and True Stories from a Life in Food Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 28, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“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
Top Customer Reviews
I must admit when the book first arrived I couldn't put it down, the introduction was full of very amusing cooking tales experienced by the author. Now that I've read through the recipes, and made some myself, this will be my go to Italian cookbook.
Before you can dive into the recipe section, Carmellini advises:
~ Do not stress out
~ Don't be afraid to taste, touch, smell, feel and make a mess
~ Measure but don't be a slave
~ Don't be afraid to adjust to taste...but don't leave out the salt or the fat
~ Time things but be a time-tester
~ Work with what you've got ...but when it comes to dessert, follow the rules
~ Plan ahead
See? Simple good cooking. Most of the recipes are beautifully illustrated with step by step instructions. From the Marinated Beets with Grapefruit, Pistachios, and Goatcheese salad to the (I admiit it...I skipped to the dessert section) Perfect Panna Cotta with Raspberry Compote.
I plan to give this book to my favorite cookbook aficionado and hope to be invited to dinner...often! So much for the New Year's diet resolution! Oh, well.
Cannot wait to give to my friends who love to cook for Christmas!!!
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
The book offers a rambling opening sprinkled with funny or horrific anecdotes, that all depend on your perspective of the situation. Carmellini shares one of the horror stories where he was faced with preparing 500 meals for models. Who wouldn't like the traditional Italian dish of escargot with polenta? 495 members of the fashion industry who view it as fattening and disgusting, that's who... The reader learns many lessons such as this most important lesson of knowing your guests before you prepare your meals in the book's introduction.
For amateur cooks, the recipes are relatively simple, but a few do require specialized tools like a pastry bag that may not be found in all kitchens. Most recipes can be prepared in under an hour, but a few require overnight preparation. The ingredient lists also range from what can be found in the neighborhood grocery store to those that require visits to the gourmet store. In other words, novices and gourmets alike will find appetizers, entrees, and desserts to prepare and enjoy.
WARNING: As something you wouldn't normally find in a cookbook, Carmellini's introduction does contain profanity (specifically the f-bomb).
Although stated otherwise on the book jacket, I feel the recipes take quite a bit of preparation. They may be simple in the sense that they have few ingredients, but the preparation takes time. Also, some of the ingredients are so rare or hard to find that it was almost impossible to make them without some form of substitution and I live in a pretty urban area. My local supermarket that has both extensive international and organic aisles did not have some of the ingredients. In some cases, substitutes are suggested but in others they are not. For instance, I could not find farro anywhere locally; although Amazon does sell it.
This cookbook is definitely five stars but I had to lower my rating to four stars because an attempt is not made to explain some of the ingredients and finding them is so difficult. For the seasoned cook who lives in or near New York City or Los Angeles or the person who does not mind ordering ingredients online, then this will be an invaluable recipe book. Delizioso (delicious) ...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought this after enjoying Andrews other book. This one is just as good!Published 7 months ago by Chris F.
Andrew creates easy and tasty meals that seldom disappoint me. I have confidence with every recipe that the balance of spices are correct and that there will be no surprises.Published 8 months ago by sherry klusman
We incorporate many dishes in this cookbook into our family gatherings!!Published 15 months ago by Emily P.
Delicious twist on cooking Italian - sophisticated and rustic at the same time. The roasted potatoes are one of the best dishes I've ever made.Published 23 months ago by Amazon Customer
Purchased this book to learn to make gnocchi like he does. Many other great looking recipes as well with nice photos.Published 23 months ago by smt
I enjoyed the stories of the tribulations of a young chef. The recipes look delicious but rather complicated for the home chef but Chef Carmellini does give examples of how to do... Read morePublished on December 11, 2013 by Harriett J Calcagno
I have a lot of cookbooks.. some are good some are ok, some are hard to follow, some require a lot of thought to figure out what the author is getting at and how I want to decide... Read morePublished on March 8, 2013 by Ian Brown Gelb