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The Del Posto Cookbook Hardcover – November 1, 2016
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"The cookbook feels quite a lot like the restaurant: Gleaming and dramatic, classically-inspired but not stuck in tradition, surprisingly approachable. There's no real precedent for Del Posto, no other no-holds-barred Italian fine dining establishment in New York--and you'll have no pretense, crossing that now-bustling street under the High Line, that the restaurant you're walking towards is some storied, crumbling bastion of Old World Manhattan."―Food52
"This hefty tome-filled with the favorites of co-owners Batali and Bastianich, and the deft work of executive chef Mark Ladner-has the same air as the vaunted Manhattan staple: grand, filled with ambitious cuisine, and outfitted with old-world style."―Tastebook
About the Author
Mark Ladner opened Del Posto with Mario Batali and Joe and Lidia Bastianich in the fall of 2005. The restaurant received a four-star New York Times review in 2010 and was recently honored with a Michelin Star, the Relais & Chateaux Grand Chef Distinction, the Grand Award from The wine Spectator and the Five Diamon from AAA. Ladner is the 2015 recipient of the James Beard Award for Best Chef, NYC.
Top customer reviews
What the cookbook is not: 30 minute meals or recipes made with packaged, processed foods
Who this book is best suited for: the advanced home cook/lover of The Del Posto Restaurant
Three words to sum it up: Intimidating but impressive.
When I opened the mailing envelope and pulled out The Del Posto Cookbook by Chef Mark Ladner, I was struck by the cover. There is a photograph of a remarkable spread of greens and grains, pasta and pig’s head. It reminded me of something I had seen before. Was I reminded of a retro-colored spread from a 1960’s cookbook? A still life painting from the 17th century? As I flipped through the pages, the artwork unfolded in not only the photographs but the way each dish was plated.
While admiring the elegant plating and reading about the cookbook’s upscale namesake (which I’ve never visited), I couldn’t help but wonder—how on earth was I to make these recipes in my kitchen? The one with the glass top stove, periwinkle laminate countertops, and a handful of cooking gadgets.
Mario Batali wrote in his foreword, “Ladner’s cooking is decidedly low-tech, which makes it quite simple to translate into the home kitchen.” This didn’t really jive with what I was seeing and reading. Low tech maybe, but I doubted the promise of easy translation when I looked at the pages-long recipes of 100 Layer Lasagne al Ragu Bolognese, Warm Cotechino with Lentils and Prosecco Zabaglione, and Veal Braciole.
I doubted it so much, I flipped back to the introduction, written by Chef Ladner himself, in hopes he could shed a little light or explain how these recipes could possibly ‘translate’ to my kitchen. And he gave me an answer: “While the recipes may seem long and intimidating, we have worked tirelessly to cover every detail of their process so that you can successfully make our food in your kitchen.”
The recipes within the Del Posto Cookbook do translate to any home kitchen. You just have to work for them, with the promise of a 5 star bite, or meal, or dessert at the end. I can attest to this because I tested Lidia [Bastianich]’s Jota with Smoky Pork and Braised Kale.
I was skeptical. Though I don’t buy processed foods or even prepped airmailed meals, I am not one to devote a day of my life cooking one thing unless it’s largely hands-off. This particular recipe looked the most appealing because it was one of the most accessible, it had ingredients that I had a hankering for, and it afforded me the opportunity to practice my newly acquired pork-smoking skills. I went through the steps, I didn’t take short cuts (namely, I fed my Weber grill with coals and wood chips for hours), and the end result? An incredibly dynamic, wholesome, I-can’t-believe-I-just-cooked-that-in-my-kitchen dish. The cannellini bean soup (jota) was silky and smooth. How it got that much flavor with so few ingredients (carrots, onion, celery, water, bay leaves, olive oil) is beyond me. The pork. Oh, the pork. The lightly sweet, abundantly peppery rub meshed beautifully with the perfectly smoked, juicy shoulder. These two key players, coupled with braised kale, bacon, and sauerkraut were incredible.
It reminded me of home, of smoked pork and collard greens with vinegar. Yet it reminded of a place worlds away, too, for a reason I can’t quite put my finger on. That pretty much sums up the theme of this cookbook in every way, from the moment I saw the photograph on the cover to studying the recipes within: it’s freshly sophisticated with a hint of familiarity.
I never thought I’d make something quite this dynamic in my little kitchen with the glass top stove and the periwinkle countertops. But I did. And I think any cook, if able to give the time, will be blown away with what they can make at home with guidance from Chef Ladner.
Disclosure: I received a copy in advance of the official release date for the purposes of an honest review.
This cookbook was written by a chef of the Del Posto restaurant in New York. The introduction explains the concept of the restaurant as well as it's creation and background.
Things I liked about it:
The cover was beautiful, as were the pictures within the book. Everything looked appetizing, and the pictures of the actual restaurant looked exciting.
Each recipe came with a detailed description of any special tool required to make it, and it sometimes offered an alternative tool that might be more common in a normal kitchen.
At the back there was an allergen guide that covered almost every possible food allergy (nuts, soy, gluten, eggs, shellfish, etc.) for each recipe so the reader can quickly consult a list to decide what they can or can't have. This would be faster than going recipe by recipe individually.
Many of the recipes have origin stories and wine pairings.
Things I didn't like:
Not all of the recipes are set up in the traditional step by step format. This could be difficult for novice cooks. These recipes were also based on the what the restaurant creates. This means they are small "tasting" dishes, often made with ingredients not used on a normal basis. It's definitely not something I would pull out for a normal weekly family dinner, maybe just special occasions.
Although the pictures were beautiful I was sad there wasn't more of them. A lot of the recipes did not include pictures of the finished product which could create confusion.
Overall I enjoyed this book, but I don't think it is for everyone.
I am therefore giving it a four stars, though I have never actually seen or opened the book. I am Italian-American of the old school,
and can cook and know good food deaf, dumb and blind. The last cookbook I looked at was a James Beard cookbook about
30 years ago because I never made a roast leg of lamb for Christmas. I used to watch Julia Child when she was on television years ago,
but never had the money to buy the ingredients nor patience to cook as she did. So long as my memory is intact and I can recall how my mom
made bracciola, or the seven fishes, (we refused the eel and baccala because my dad and I schieved it), or "gravy, " etc.... No old time Italians
I know would cook modern European versions of Italian food anyway, since we were born in the U. S. and only remember the old ways. I
don't judge the neuvelle cuisine, and I am sure it is very good, but I am guessing not many people would have the time, money and patience.