Not so long ago, Italian food was regarded as a poor man’s gruel--little more than pizza, macaroni with sauce, and red wines in a box. Here, John Mariani shows how the Italian immigrants to America created, through perseverance and sheer necessity, an Italian-American food culture, and how it became a global obsession. Featuring evil villains such as the Atkins diet and French chefs, this is a rollicking tale of how Italian cuisine rose to its place as the most beloved fare in the world, through the lives of the people who led the charge. Full of savory anecdotes from top chefs and resturateurs including Mario Batali, Danny Meyer, Tony Mantuano, Nigella Lawson, and many others, the book also goes inside famous restaurants such as Da Silvano Spiaggia, Union Square Cafe, Rao's and others.
John Mariani is a food and travel columnist for Esquire, wine columnist for Bloomberg News, and writer of a newsletter that goes out to 40,000 subscribers. He has been called by The Philadelphia Inquirer “the most influential food-wine critic in the popular press.” He is author of The Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink, The Dictionary of Italian Food & Drink, and with his wife Galina, The Italian-American Cookbook. He lives in Tuckahoe, New York.
Lidia Bastianich is an American chef and restaurateur and host of the TV series Lidia's Italy. She owns four Italian restaurants.