As you can see, the cover of Mario Batali Big American Cookbook appears more about Chef Batali than American cooking! And those of you who are followers of the restaurateur/ celebrity chef world might be inclined to think the cookbook will encompass the chef’s Italian heritage in its recipes. Nothing could be further from reality when you open this book.
The cookbook is definitely American cooking – represented by geographic region and the foods that reflect these locales. Chef Batali collected them over years of travel, tested each in his kitchen, and presented them to us with minimal editing. His only input has been to add a brief note at the bottom of some regarding a shortcut, simple flavor enhancement, or other suggestion. As Chef Batali says, “You will more likely find a version of these recipes in the local Rotary Club cookbook than on TV.”
The introduction is both informative and a warm overview of our various ethnic backgrounds and the food and social heritages that fueled their evolution. The entire volume is a celebration of America and its diversity as well as its inclusion: there are BBQ recipes from “… the Carolinas, Texas, Kansas City, and Memphis” for example. Listen. Do you hear America? It’s calling you to the table!