The above quote is from the Introduction of Giada’s Kitchen - New Italian Favorites, which had been on my shelves for a couple of years before I started using it as cookbook for recipes. I wish I had started earlier. Each recipe is a burst of taste, colors and combination of flavors; the instructions are really easy to follow for anyone, and the final result of virtually every dish is presented in a beautiful arrangement of photographs.
What caught my attention and inspired me the most is Giada’s culinary creativity, which certainly reflects both her family passion for food and her polished chef training. Being born in Rome like her, I also appreciate her choice and open use of traditional ingredients, like artichokes, lamb and ricotta (so dear to any Roman), which she absolutely makes the best of, reinventing old recipes and creating new Italian food experiences.
The book is divided in seven different sections, which include Appetizers and First Courses, Soups and Panini, Salads and Vegetables, Pasta, Meat, Poultry and Fish, Desserts and even a useful Kid’s section called (Not) Just for Kids, with recipes that will please younger’s of any age.
At this point, however, my critique makes room also for one critic to what Giada herself describes as her “…ideas about what Italian food can and should be”, that sometimes turn out to be a little “over the top”. An example: The Pizza Pot Pies recipe, her version of chicken pot pie made using pizza crust in place of the regular pastry topper, can certainly add some fun - both for kids and adults - to the old traditional American dish. But I really can’t see why this recipe can be presented as an example of what Italian food should be, when it’s possibly more of a take on what the good old American chicken pot pie could be, adding mozzarella and tomato to the filling - should this really make it part of an Italian cookbook?
Never the less, my review of Giada’s Kitchen ends with a “Bravo” to the author and her publisher, for the good work in presenting the public with a new and fresh take on Italian food. The book was in fact first released in 2008, after 5 years of a large presence on almost every food show venue for Giada and her Italian food performances. Well done for still being able to surprise me, and inspire me for some more Italian food.
You can buy Giada's Kitchen: New Italian Favorites at Amazon.com
Note: this book is part of my own personal cookbooks and I was not compensated by the publisher for this review.