Downtown Italian Aims to Re-Create the Experience of West Village Spots at Home

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All photos courtesy Baltz & Company
Gabe and Katherine Thompson with Joe Campanale
After a random meeting through a mutual friend, chefs Gabe and Katherine Thompson hit it off -- as you may have surmised from the joint last name. Shortly after meeting Gabe, Katherine was approached by her former colleagues Joe Campanale and August Cardona; they were opening a restaurant and wanted her to be the executive chef. She had no desire. Katherine, however, suggested Gabe try out for the position. He applied and conducted tastings. The day before he was supposed to accept another job, he was offered the position at Dell'Anima (38 Eighth Avenue; 212-366-6633).

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Geoffrey Zakarian's My Perfect Pantry Is Bringing Cooking Back to Basics

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Photo courtesy Clarkson Potter

In addition to his regular TV appearances on Chopped and Iron Chef America, working as executive chef and owner of The Lambs Club (132 West 44th Street; 212-997-5262) and The National, and overseeing numerous concepts on the Norwegian Breakaway cruise ship, Geoffrey Zakarian debuted the newly renovated The Palm Court in his position as culinary director at The Plaza. He is also the chairman of City Harvest's Food Council. Oh, and he became a father, yet again, when his wife gave birth to son George Harris in the spring.

On top of all that (and various other projects and commitments), the celebrity chef recently released his second cookbook, My Perfect Pantry: 150 Easy Recipes From 50 Essential Ingredients.


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Death & Co.: Modern Classic Cocktails 'Is a Love Letter to the Industry'

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Photo by Justin Graham; all photos courtesy Penguin Random House
Death & Co. co-founder David Kaplan
In 2006, David Kaplan came to New York with a dream of opening his own bar. The consummate host, Kaplan started playing bartender when he was 18, with a tiki-themed bar in his friend's dirt-floor garage. Little did he know his little hobby would lead him to co-own one of the most highly acclaimed bars in the world.

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Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes Seeks to Inspire Creativity in Baking

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Lam Thuy Vo for Simon & Schuster
Dominique Ansel is arguably the world's most widely recognized pastry chef. At his namesake Soho storefront, Dominique Ansel Bakery (189 Spring Street, 212-219-2773), he's garnered a reputation for his innovative sweet treats, most notably the infamous croissant-doughnut hybrid, the Cronutâ„¢ -- a year and a half after its debut, people are still lining up for hours just to get a bite of the lauded pastry. Now they can make it themselves: The toque recently released a debut cookbook, Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes, featuring his greatest hits and the stories behind them.


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Dan Pashman's New Book Instructs You How to Eat More Better

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Lilia Cretcher for The Sporkful
All photos courtesy Simon & Schuster
"If life contains a finite number of meals, and a meal contains a finite number of bites, you can only take so many bites before you're full and/or dead," Dan Pashman says in his new tome, Eat More Better: How to Make Every Bite More Delicious. "A bite is a precious resource. It pains me to think of all the thoughtless eating that takes place across the world each day. So many mouthfuls meld together into one big, blah bolus we'll never get back. But let us not grieve for the bites that could have been. Let us instead look ahead, to those that are yet to be."


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Johnny Iuzzini's Sugar Rush Aims to Make You a Better Baker

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Publishers love to send us cookbooks here at Fork in the Road, and often those books come straight from the chefs at some of New York's best restaurants. So we decided to share the love, and each week, we'll feature a new book, a recipe, and a few thoughts on cooking from the authors. Check back Thursdays for a new book.

Sugar Rush: Master Tips, Techniques, and Recipes for Sweet Baking By Johnny Iuzzini, with Wes Martin, 350 pages, Clarkson Potter, $40.

Johnny Iuzzini is kind of a big deal in the pastry world. The Culinary Institute of America grad has spent time in the kitchen with some of the country's most renowned chefs (Daniel Boulud, François Payard, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, to name a few). In 2006, he was awarded "Pastry Chef of the Year" by the James Beard Foundation, and he has been recognized as one of the "10 Most Influential Pastry Chefs in America" by Forbes, named "Best New Pastry Chef" by New York magazine, and called one of the "Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America" for two consecutive years by Pastry Arts and Design.

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Probe NYC's Leafy Bounty with Ava Chin's Eating Wildly

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All images courtesy Simon & Schuster
Publishers love to send us cookbooks here at Fork in the Road, and often those books come straight from the chefs at some of New York's best restaurants. So we decided to share the love, and each week, we'll feature a new book, a recipe, and a few thoughts on cooking from the authors. Check back Tuesdays for a new book.

Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love, and the Perfect Meal
By Ava Chin, 245 pages, Simon & Schuster, $25

Locavores live and die by the notion that food should come from where you live; cutting the distance between farm and plate means fresher, firmer, less abused meals -- travel is tough on all living things, including the plants and meats we eat. Here in New York, we're often forced to define "local" as locales within a day's drive; "nearby," in New York, is sometimes as far as 300 miles away.

But for the urban forager, food comes from all over the city; it grows from cracks in the sidewalk; on the fringes of unkempt, outer-borough ballfields; in shaded park groves; and anywhere else plants climb toward the sun. For people like New York Times Urban Forager columnist Ava Chin, the city offers a bounty of wild-growing, edible plants, many of them frowned upon as (the horror!) weeds.

Chin eats weeds on the regular, and she lives to tell about it in her new book, Eating Wildly, which just dropped today.


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Here's the Key to a Great Taco

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All photos by Noah Fecks, courtesy Countryman Press.
Easy grilled lime tacos from Dos Caminos.

Publishers love to send us cookbooks here at Fork in the Road, and often those books come straight from the chefs at some of New York's best restaurants. So we decided to share the love, and each week, we'll feature a new book, a recipe, and a few thoughts on cooking from the authors. Check back Tuesdays for a new book.

Dos Caminos Tacos: 100 Recipes For Everyone's Favorite Mexican Street Food
By Ivy Stark, with Joanna Pruess, 280 pages, Countryman Press, $24.95

"I have a taco notebook that grows fatter and fatter every year," Dos Caminos chef Ivy Stark writes in the introduction to her new cookbook, Dos Caminos Tacos. "It's stained with salsa and greasy fingerprints, crinkled from splashes of beer and agua fresca, and positively stuffed with menus, placemats, matchbooks, photos, and scribbled recipes from the many taquerias I have visited in search of the perfect taco....And I have found some stellar ones." She's also built a small Mexican empire, spanning six restaurants in three states, on stuffed tortillas and their ken.

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How Marc Forgione's Cookbook Will Make You a Better Cook

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All photos by Evan Sung, courtesy Haughton Mifflin Harcourt
Sweet Corn Ravioli with Lobster

Publishers love to send us cookbooks here at Fork in the Road, and often those books come straight from the chefs at some of New York's best restaurants. So we decided to share the love, and each week, we'll feature a new book, a recipe, and a few thoughts on cooking from the authors. Check back every Tuesday for a new book.

Marc Forgione: Recipes and Stories From the Acclaimed Chef and Restaurant By Marc Forgione, with Olga Massov, 432 pages, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $40

In 2008, just as the nation hurled headlong into black financial abyss, Marc Forgione readied to open a fine dining restaurant in Tribeca. At the center of a nationwide shitstorm, where corporate accounts were being trimmed faster than a fidgety child's bangs, Forgione and company were serving $40 steaks and $20 appetizers to a shaken crowd downtown at precisely the wrong moment. "We needed to really figure out who we were as people, nevermind as restaurateurs, but as people, how the hell to survive this," Forgione says.

But against the recessional red tide, the restaurant survived, grew, and spawned offspring: two steakhouses, a modern Laotian kitchen, TV appearances, international fame, and, as of yesterday, a cookbook.


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Go Beyond Farm-to-Table With The Nourished Kitchen

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All photos by Jennifer McGruther, courtesy 10 Speed Press.
Almond rosewater currant Portugal cake.

Publishers love to send us cookbooks here at Fork in the Road, and often those books come straight from the chefs at some of New York's best restaurants. So we decided to share the love, and each week, we'll feature a new book, a recipe, and a few thoughts on cooking from the authors. Check back every Tuesday for a new book.

The Nourished Kitchen: Farm-to-Table Recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle
By Jennifer McGruther, 320 pages, Ten Speed Press, $27.99

Jenny McGruther started her blog, "The Nourished Kitchen," in 2007 as a chronicle of her personal exploration and interest in traditional food. Last week, she released a collection of the resulting recipes in a beautiful new book, filled with lush photos she shot herself. It's an impressive and far-reaching collection, with recipes ranging from smoked salmon roe to bohemian rye bread.

A food educator and farmer's market regular, McGruther was taken by the work of Dr. Weston A. Price, a pioneering M.D. living at the turn of the last century, who trotted the globe studying how primitive cultures sourced, prepared, and ate food.

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