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Italian, My Way: More Than 150 Simple and Inspired Recipes That Breathe New Life into Italian Classics Hardcover – April 5, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Nobody does simple and seasonal better than Jonathan Waxman. His new book is full of recipes that not only teach Italian cooking, but simplicity itself. Way to go, big boy.”
—Jamie Oliver

“Jonathan Waxman has been at the forefront of modern American cooking for decades, and has always prepared delicious food in an exquisitely simple and straightforward way. At Barbuto, he has redefined simple Italian food, and he continues to raise the bar of poetic tastiness for me and every chef I know. This book makes me want to share the beauty of magnificent, simple, perfect food with Jonathan, our families, and our best pals.”
—Mario Batali

“Jonathan cooks the food I want to eat. He is one of the great cooks I know.”
—Alice Waters

"My number one mentor."
—Bobby Flay

“Jonathan understands food on a level that captures the soul of cuisine. Italian cuisine is about great ingredients and honest treatment. He makes that clear in this love affair with great food.”
—Rick Moonen, Top Chef Master and author of Fish Without a Doubt

"Jonathan Waxman is immune to culinary fad and fashion and brings an old souls understanding of food tradition and core values to his work. He is also quite possibly the best natural, instinctual cook I know."
—Colman Andrews

“Jonathan’s book inspires me to spend more time in the kitchen. He’s such an amazing chef, I would eat this book.”
—Caleb Followill, Kings of Leon singer and guitarist

“Jonathan Waxman is a chef’s chef, and he is frequently my chef because Barbuto, his restaurant, is the place I go for my favorite food. Jonathan is not only a master cook, he is a world class communicator. In Italian, My Way, Jonathan takes the mystery and complexity out of Italian cooking.”
—Charlie Rose

About the Author

Jonathan Waxman first stepped into the culinary scene in 1970 when he retired from his career as a professional trombonist to enroll in the La Varenne cooking school in Paris. After working at the prestigious Chez Panisse alongside Alice Waters, he brought New American cuisine to New York City by opening the restaurants Jams and Washington Park. For his contributions to the culinary world, Jonathan was named one the most influential Americans by Esquire magazine. Today, he is the chef-owner of Barbuto, an Italian brasserie in New York City. He resides in Manhattan with his wife and three children.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st edition (April 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416594310
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416594314
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #365,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of Chef Waxman's restaurant, so I looked forward to this book, especially given the enthusiastic press before it came out. Coincidence being what it is, asparagus came into season just as the book came out, and the first recipe is his wonderful raw asparagus salad. This recipe may be worth the price of the book itself. Simple? Yes. Elegant? Yes. There is a recipe for "JW roast chicken," and while it's not as good as the one in the restaurant (how could it be? Who has a wood oven at home?), it's up there with Zuni Cafe' chicken.
Unfortunately, the book has some inconsistensies that can lead to disasters. For example, the biscotti recipe calls for 11 cups of ingredients, for "one dozen" cookies. I suspect that restaurant service quantities were provided, and not broken down. There is also a recipe for a 7 hour roast leg of lamb. That, in and of itself, is fine, but the instructions call for roasting at 350. If you roast for 7 hours at 350, you will get charcoal. Guaranteed.
Experienced cooks will know how to fix these things as they find them, but if you're picking it up thinking "I like simple, Chef Waxman is the King of Simple," with no "chops" in the kitchen, you're going to run into a roadblock or two. If something doesn't sound quite right, ask someone. The recipes are basically good, but they need massaging.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book -- right up there with the River Cafe cookbooks (but the recipes are a LOT easier). I've made several of the recipes over the weekend and the instructions and timing were spot on. A range of interesting recipes are given with precise instructions. Some unique ingredients are specified, but alternates may be substituted. I found the author's tone humble and practical, which was a bit surprising for a celebrity chef. There seem to be a fair number of poncey American chefs cooking Italian cuisine. This isn't one of them (although apparently a lot of them are his friends).

I will buy another copy as a gift for an Italian friend who passionately loves to cook and is a superb cook. There are fun twists in this book and I'm sure she will like Waxman's approach as much as I do.
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Format: Hardcover
I had read other reviews of this cookbook and hesitated to buy it, but then went to a dining event where Chef Waxman was signing copies, and it sort of felt rude not to line up and take a copy home. Thank heavens I did! I've cooked a nice variety of the recipes in this book by now, and every single dish has been spot on. It's true they aren't intensely flavored in a garlic/spice sense (and I do like strong flavors) but they are delicious and stay true to the Italian ideal of letting the natural flavors of great quality ingredients shine. Me, my husband, and an only slightly adventurous teenager have loved the raw asparagus salad, the milanese preparation (I used chicken instead of pork, and yes, it was perfect), the mushrooms over polenta, the crab angel hair, etc.

The cooking techniques are simple and straightforward, the ingredients are not impossible to find, and (so far) nothing requires a huge amount of prep time. Will I start making my own pasta as highlighted in several recipes? Not at all likely, but I'm pretty sure I can figure out a way to use store-bought fresh pasta and enjoy the food just as much. A great addition to my cookbook repertoire.
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Format: Hardcover
Jonathan Waxman presents his chosen cuisine, Italian, as it really is - a simple mixing of a few wonderful ingredients to make fantastic food. All of the recipes in the book are simple enough for the average home cook to make. The taste, though, are wonderful. I just made the Linguine agli scampi (shrimp scampi), and it was such a delight. The flavors are light without leaving the pasta bland. Plus, it took me about 20 minutes to make. Not too shabby for a weeknight meal! (I should note, I used pre-peeled and deveined shrimp that were not cooked. If you peel and devein your own, it will of course take longer). I definitely plan on making more of Waxman's recipes. Can't wait!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like this celebrity Chef. So, I have that bias. I've also only read the cookbook for a half an hour. The book just came out yesterday.
The recipes are detailed and contain antedotes on how he found the recipe and give some intriguing stories. The book contains not one color photo but more than a few black and white ones. The recipes are mostly nothing new. It's in the execution that the book helps with. He explains little things like how long to keep pizza dough fermenting or how to make fresh pasta. My other favorite part of the book is the section where he recommends cooking utensils, pans, juicers, processors, ect. Not many Chefs recommend items without being sponsored (***which he very well may be but I didn't see any disclaimer). Overall, I think this paints an American Chef in a more Italian light and explains some great simple recipes to help people learn some good Italian cooking.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I want to be his sous chef, confidant, and he be my mentor in my next life. His confidence with food - impeccable. His ingredients and their combinations are wickedly surprising, yet simple. His level of taste is something all of us who cook strive for. Jonathan Waxman has become one of my favorite authors and chefs. What he has done with just a couple of ingredients and the transformation to the food is remarkable. This is a book to read, study, and to use daily. He encourages me to be a better chef.
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