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"Made in Italy" by Giorgio Locatelli


danlepard
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  • 3 weeks later...

My book just arrived from Amazonuk (took for friggin ever) and I have finally had a chance to browse through the book. The first thing I will make is the garlic soup. The recipes are not filled with a lot of techno equipment or hard to find ingredients, I think I can find most everything even here in Oklahoma. There are several of the ravioli recipes I will be trying. Though out the book, Georgio has little tidbits about his life, it is interesting to read the bits about working at the Savoy. I do not regret getting this book.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Okay, I'm seriously considering buying this book but before I do, I'm wondering if any of you have done any actual cooking from it yet.  If so, what's your thoughts? 

Jean

I've cooked solidy from it for the past two or three weeks, with only 1 or 2 meals that were not inspired or taken directly from the book. Fantastic, not overly hard for the most part, but very tasty results.

I've made, off the top of my head and without a copy of the book anywhere to hand;

hand made gnocchi

gnocchi with tomato and rocket sauce

hand made pasta

pasta with wild mushrooms

pasta with beef ragu

lasagne

risotto milanese

stuffed cabage with fried rissotto

potato parcels with pepper sauce

chicken under a brick

lamb and pepper stew

confit of pears with zabligone

lemon rissotto soufle

etc etc

lots of stuff!

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  • 5 weeks later...
I hope she is going to give it to somebody who will read it, what a waste of a good book.

I really can't see it as the kind of book you'd throw away. But then, I'm utterly biased.

Anthony Silverbrow on the blog Silverbrow has just put up an interview with Giorgio here.

Dan

Edited by danlepard (log)
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I started a thread about the most essential cookery book of the year (I'm looking for opinions and hoping to spark some debate). In the thread's short life, there are already a few votes for Locatelli's book. Impressive results for a non North-American offering (and without foodtv tie-in)!

It does look like a winner.

However, can I ask a question? There's a bazillion Italian cookbooks out there. Maybe more. Some of them are pretty good. Or at least will allow you to cook delicious - Italianesque dishes. Alright, I'm beating around the bush a little bit here. My question is, is Locatelli's book pan-Italian, or is it mostly regional to where he's from (the linked article mentioned the north, but did not specify)? Does the world need another chef-driven Italian cookbook? What, exactly, does this book add to the, if I may say, glut of Italian cookbooks out there?

None of this should be interpreted as negative; I'm very interested in this book. Just a bit wary of chef-cookbooks in general and owning more Italian cookbooks than anything else (by a long shot), I just want to know how it differs from what's already out there. And, living across the pond, not having eaten at one of his restaurants I have no idea how he is fusing italian with western (or not).

Looking forward to your opinions,

Geoff Ruby

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Geoff,

I'm of the view that we have a glut of things in our lives and there is very little that we need in our comfortable Western world. So when you ask "does the world need...?" I'm certain the answer is "no we don't!" But we publish, not to fill a need, but according to whether an editor believes an individual has something fresh to say on a hunch that enough people will to pay to read those views.

For Italian cookbooks, Marcella Hazan (unless you read Italian) is probably enough.

The Locatelli book is unashamedly a chef book and has at its core the story of a cook travelling from a small town in Italy, via Michelin kitchens and old-school cooking in Paris, through to the London and finally owning his own restaurant and becoming a chef. The cooking of Lombardy is at the heart of the book, a region in Italy not written about that often perhaps because it isn't the most obviously beautiful or balmy place. It's cold and a bit industrial, the architecture a bit brutal (all things I like, but I'm a bit odd that way) and the food is plain and unassuming - a simple saffron risotto or some fried eel - and not so overtly glamorous.

What the book adds to the basic Italian canon is one view of how traditional Lombardi cooking can influence the top-end restaurant menu, take on French haute-cuisine influences, and pop out the other end as balanced and reassuring food.

D

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Some of my favourite bits of the book are where he describes how ingredients that we see as 'Italian' he had never experienced until later on in life as they weren't from Lombardy. And how learnt to incorporate them into his dishes (Probably to the horror of his family!)

And as mentioned before, the sections on risotto and gnocchi alone are worth buying the book for.

I love animals.

They are delicious.

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For Italian cookbooks, Marcella Hazan (unless you read Italian) is probably enough.

I have received more insight from the Locatelli book than I ever have from the Hazan books (i hope that is not sacrilege). I would love to see the photos that did not make the book as I enjoyed the way they captured the spirit of the recipes and text. I would highly recommend the book if one is a fan of Italian cooking and cuisine

Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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  • 1 month later...

I really like this book. The photos reveal much, especially so considering the austerity of style that is displayed in many. Dan's remarks of the architecture of the area resonate. But really through the people & produce a sincerity rings through, you can see it in the faces of the staff at the back of the book too. The guy himself, speaks as a leader of people with just standards & motivations. I'm inspired to return back to Italy, last time was spent in Sardinia- holy crap the seafood was friggin amazing, & no fucking around with it. Dan, did you take the photos for Baker & Spice book??? cos this is a vast improvement.

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Glad you liked the pics, Sean. It was a chance to follow the food and record the chefs preparing and serving in the kitchen, over weeks and months rather than days. Peter Williams took the pictures in Baking with Passion, a great photgrapher working in a classic style.

Dan

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Dan, thanks so much for bringing this book to our attention. I've been savoring it over the past week, it's a great read. Sometimes I detect a bit of a biased attitude or snobbism which I find mildly disturbing; however, it reminds me of how I must sound to some of my non-food-obsessed friends when I make emphatic statements regarding ingredients or technique. :shock:

This week I made the Chocolate and Banana Beignets, they were awesome.

gallery_41870_2503_3578.jpg

gallery_41870_2503_109586.jpg

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For Sunday dinner I made:

Orecchiette alle cime di rapa e peperoncino

Paillard di pollo con spinaci

and the Sable biscuits, all from the book.

All fantastic, but the sable biscuit dough was very dry, so I added a splash of milk that seemed to work!

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  • 2 weeks later...

gallery_21505_2929_152912.jpg

I made the chocolate banana beignets yesterday. The recipe says that the dough should fill 22 'holes' in the icecube tray, my dough filled about 40! I guess his icecubetrays are bigger than mine. Because they were so small, it was very fiddly getting the chocoloate inside. Also, I fried them for only 2 minutes because they were small. The one in the pic looks overcooked, but they weren't, they had the perfect gooey runny interior.

What surprised me was that they taste very much of banana, while there is actually very little banana in the dough. I served them with chocolate icecream which was a great combo.

The downside is that you have to go deepfrying right before dessert. Maybe not a good idea after consuming quite a bit of wine with dinner :wacko: got some nice little burns on my hands now!

Edited by Chufi (log)
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Shaya and Klary: I have been eying this thread with interest, waiting for more demonstrations of recipes to pop up.

Now that two regulars from the Italian forum own the book, I'm anxious to hear more of your impressions.

Molto e, I don't think anyone except perhaps Marcella Hazan and her immediate family would be offended by what you have to say. She isn't exactly a pioneer, but she was the voice that coaxed many English-speakers into making good Italian meals. New generations of cookbook authors have to offer either something different or more.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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I made the borlottibean soup with spelt yesterday. It had a great flavor and was the perfect soup for one of the first cold days we had in Amsterdam this winter. I found the directions a bit odd though. He has you sauteeing vegetables until soft, then add cooked beans and cook it all together for another 20 minutes, then puree that together, and only then add the liquid. I knew I would have a very hard time pureeing that dry mixture of vegetables and beans so I added the liquid before pureeing.

gallery_21505_2929_8164.jpg

Edited by Chufi (log)
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  • 1 year later...

I made another dish from the book: tuna with borlotti beans (don't have the book here so don't know the Italian name). Again, I had issues with his instructions.

He says to cook the beans with sage, chopped celery, and whole garlic cloves, amply covered with water. When done, you're instructed to puree a couple of table spoons of the beans (with or without garlic/celery/sage? with or without cooking water? ) I pureed without cooking liquid first but that gave me a much too dry puree (and not enough). So I ended up adding liquid (and some seasoning, and olive oil, otherwise the puree would have been much too bland).

I deepfried my tuna cubes for a little too long.. you really have to fry them only seconds, or they won't be pink in the middle. Mine weren't, but they were still juicy and delicious.

I used a mixture of salad leaves, and omitted the raw onion from the salad because we were having a special white wine with this course.

gallery_21505_2929_150062.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...
Geoff,

I'm of the view that we have a glut of things in our lives and there is very little that we need in our comfortable Western world. So when you ask "does the world need...?" I'm certain the answer is "no we don't!" But we publish, not to fill a need, but according to whether an editor believes an individual has something fresh to say on a hunch that enough people will to pay to read those views.

For Italian cookbooks, Marcella Hazan (unless you read Italian) is probably enough.

The Locatelli book is unashamedly a chef book and has at its core the story of a cook travelling from a small town in Italy, via Michelin kitchens and old-school cooking in Paris, through to the London and finally owning his own restaurant and becoming a chef. The cooking of Lombardy is at the heart of the book, a region in Italy not written about that often perhaps because it isn't the most obviously beautiful or balmy place. It's cold and a bit industrial, the architecture a bit brutal (all things I like, but I'm a bit odd that way) and the food is plain and unassuming - a simple saffron risotto or some fried eel - and not so overtly glamorous.

What the book adds to the basic Italian canon is one view of how traditional Lombardi cooking can influence the top-end restaurant menu, take on French haute-cuisine influences, and pop out the other end as balanced and reassuring food.

D

Most of my Italian cookbooks are in Italian - so I as I do read Italian - I am curious what you would be recommending.

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...

For Italian cookbooks, Marcella Hazan (unless you read Italian) is probably enough.

The Locatelli book is unashamedly a chef book and has at its core the story of a cook travelling from a small town in Italy, via Michelin kitchens and old-school cooking in Paris, through to the London and finally owning his own restaurant and becoming a chef. The cooking of Lombardy is at the heart of the book, ....

What the book adds to the basic Italian canon is one view of how traditional Lombardi cooking can influence the top-end restaurant menu, take on French haute-cuisine influences, and pop out the other end as balanced and reassuring food. ...

Most of my Italian cookbooks are in Italian - so I as I do read Italian - I am curious what you would be recommending.

Sadly, Dan Lepard no longer wishes to post on eGullet, so its unlikely your question will be answered here.

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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