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Eating Italy: A Chef's Culinary Adventure

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Before award-winning chef Jeff Michaud ever opened the doors of his acclaimed Philadelphia restaurants, he spent three years in northern Italy as a culinary apprentice to master butchers and chefs, immersing himself in the culture and cuisine of the old country. It is safe to say that he never anticipated the romance that would ensue. Eating Italy is a delicious, funny, and mesmerizing spin through the boot, teaching true heirloom techniques and telling Jeff ’s culinary and personal love story (he met his wife ...

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Eating Italy: A Chef's Culinary Adventure

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Overview

Before award-winning chef Jeff Michaud ever opened the doors of his acclaimed Philadelphia restaurants, he spent three years in northern Italy as a culinary apprentice to master butchers and chefs, immersing himself in the culture and cuisine of the old country. It is safe to say that he never anticipated the romance that would ensue. Eating Italy is a delicious, funny, and mesmerizing spin through the boot, teaching true heirloom techniques and telling Jeff ’s culinary and personal love story (he met his wife when she came into the restaurant one night for dinner, and to this day, he hasn’t forgotten what she ordered).

Part inventive cookbook, part travel narrative, each chapter of Eating Italy explores a village or town in northern Italy, unveiling the unique culinary and cultural experience it has to offer. The reader experiences his journey from “Paladina: The Butcher’s Apprentice” to “Trescore Balneario: Our Big Italian Wedding” in dishes like Apricot and Chanterelle Salad, Swordfish Pancetta with Fennel Zeppole, Pheasant Lasagne, and Blood Orange Crostata with Bitter Chocolate. Each authentic recipe serves to mark his professional growth, learning from some of the most skilled chefs in Italy. Vivid photography of Italian culture, people, and landscapes are dispersed throughout, allowing the reader a glimpse of northern Italia from a kitchen far away.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 09/30/2013
Philadelphia restaurateur Michaud here showcases the intense flavors of Northern Italian cuisine, enhanced through an autobiographical narrative. His path to a happy marriage spills out cinematically: Boy meets girl in Italy. Boy eats roasted rabbit with polenta and truffles with girl. Boy brings girl to Philly and opens three successful eateries. While their romance is all sweetness and light, the foodstuffs are mostly dark meat and cornmeal. Over the course of three years, his life-changing travels abroad take him through 12 towns, including Paladina, Venice, and Florence, where he encounters numerous entrees of desire. From Leffe, there is pheasant lasagna with a béchamel sauce. In Bergamo, beer-braised wild boar is served over polenta. and in Alba it's roasted rabbit porchetta with peperonata wherein a whole rabbit is deboned, rolled, and fit to be tied. The fine food photographer Kelly Campbell is responsible for the luscious images, notably a stunning two-page spread of a roasted pig's head dressed in a beer and orange juice glaze. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

“The recipes in Michaud's book are set in a winning narrative (crafted by food writer David Joachim), affecting accounts of his awe and delight at the markets and cafes and haunts he visits.”
—The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Eating Italy is a reminder that cookbooks are not just collections of recipes. Sure, when it comes down to it, replicating the warm beef carpaccio with roasted mushrooms that is often a special at Alla Spina is a draw, but diving into Michaud’s culinary journey is just as appealing.”
—Philadelphia City Paper

“Go on a virtual journey with Michaud by delving into his new book, Eating Italy: A Chef’s Culinary Adventure.
InStyle

An impressive collection of Italian cookery, Michaud employs the best of Italian fare in his recipes while amorously sharing his poignant journey of the heart that inspired them. Eating Italy illuminates beautifully the enchantments found in its food, landscape, and people.
—Joe Bastianich, renowned restaurateur and winemaker

“Jeff has created a wonderfully fun and refreshing Italian cookbook which takes you on a journey through his formative years as a cook to the chef he is today. His recipes are updated for the times and are also super-delicious!” 
—April Bloomfield, Michelin-starred Executive Chef of The Spotted Pig, and author of A Girl and Her Pig

“I once had the privilege of a long afternoon lunch outside of Bergamo with Jeff and Claudia, Mark Vetri, and all the aunts and uncles. After an amazing lunch of boar salumi, crispelle, meat grilled on the hearth, and polenta, a nap was in order. Jeff's mother in law covered me with a zebra-print blanket, and I slept and dreamt of the amazing lunch and of Italy's incredible bounty. As I page through eating Italy, I am instantly transformed back to that country house, where my eyes were truly opened to the elegance of true simplicity. In Eating Italy, Jeff has created a roadmap that explores the rustic, creative, and simple elegance that is Italy!”
—Paul Kahan, Owner and Executive Chef of Blackbird, avec, The Publican, Big Star and Publican Quality Meats

“We devoured Eating Italy! Jeff Michaud's story—how a restless, New Hampshire-born sous-chef launched himself on a tour of Northern Italian towns as a stagier to butchers and brilliant Michelin-starred chefs and ended up meeting the love of his life-- has the triumphant, lyrical spirit of Frances Mayes. And Michaud’s recipes for robust, simple, refined dishes, like Pheasant Lasagne and Grilled Sardines with Celery Salad, pack the avuncular, precise instructional force of the greats: Hazan, Bastianich, and Batali. Lovers of Italy and cooking will find this volume totally irresistible.”
—Matt Lee and Ted Lee, authors of The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen

“A great restaurant just doesn't pop up. It is built on the gastronomic history of its chef. In EATING ITALY, Jeff Michaud takes us along on his culinary awakening journey, and the result is a vivid tour of Italy's gems with brilliant recipes born from his wonderful eating adventures.”
—Nancy Silverton, Los Angeles restaurateur and author of The Mozza Cookbook

“If you cannot go to Italy, go to Philadelphia!  Jeff Michaud's cuisine is the real deal. . . and so is he. You can taste his passion, which is why I am a regular customer. This book explains how he got there. I enjoyed the ride, minus the jet lag!”
—Marc Summers, Host of Unwrapped and Executive Producer of Restaurant Impossible

“Jeff is one of the country’s great young chefs.  His love and knowledge of not only the food of Italy but also its culture is unmatched. EATING ITALY is his love letter to the country he has so much passion for.  Reading this beautiful book with its wonderful pictures and recipes was like being there with him. There is nothing like a trip through Italy, but this book will get you close.”
—Michael Symon, Iron Chef and restaurateur

“Jeff and I have become good friends over the past few years. Reading his simply delicious new book EATING ITALY helped me truly understand why we are friends. We both adore the northern region of Italy: Cinque Terre, Barbaresco, Alme, and Venezia. Jeff's book is the first of its kind that not only captures the spirit of this incredibly rich culinary region, it also quite frankly embodies the excitement of tartuffi bianci, bold, roasted meats and poultry, and the impossibly intricate pastas that are so terrific and intrinsically northern. This is a love story not just about food and wine, but more importantly a personal one: Jeff found both his passion and his wife in Italy. Not bad for a boy from New Hampshire.”
—Jonathan Waxman, New York chef and owner of Barbuto

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762445875
  • Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/24/2013
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Jeff Michaud is chef and co-owner at Osteria Restaurant, Amis Restaurant, and Alla Spina, all in Philadelphia, and a partner of the Vetri Restaurant Group.  He is also a member of the Vetri Foundation for Children board of directors.  In 2008, The James Beard Foundation nominated Osteria for Best New Restaurant and in 2010, Jeff won the James Beard Award for Best Mid-Atlantic Chef. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife Claudia and their daughter Gaia.

Food writer David Joachim has authored, edited or collaborated on more than 35 cookbooks, including multiple IACP award winners, James Beard award winners, and New York Times Bestsellers. His A Man A Can A Plan series of books has sold more than 1 million copies. He lives near Philadelphia.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 2 of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2013

    *whispers* It was really, really cute and it made me smile quite

    *whispers* It was really, really cute and it made me smile quite a lot. (It kinda made me wanna RP ponies, but idk. I've never done that before Dx)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2013

    Okies. I am here then. And yes I saw all the references in that

    Okies. I am here then. And yes I saw all the references in that post <3 Merry Christmas

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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