Maria Loi 'Wants Everyone to Go Greek' With The Greek Diet

All photos courtesy Key Group Worldwide
Maria Loi loves her homeland. As the official Ambassador of Greek Gastronomy, as designated by worldwide culinary organization the Chef's Club of Greece, she makes frequent TV appearances and has authored more than 36 cookbooks and 150 articles in magazines -- and her work on ancient Greek dining was the sole official volume of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. Since migrating to NYC, she's opened Loi Restaurant (203 West 70th Street; 212-875-8600) and has cooked for President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and 250 White House guests. The sassy chef, who's sometimes called the "Martha Stewart of Greece," recently released her latest treatise, The Greek Diet: Look and Feel Like a Greek God or Goddess and Lose up to Ten Pounds in Two Weeks with health journalist Sarah Toland.

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Jamie Bissonnette's The New Charcuterie Cookbook Is Your New Guide to Curing Meats

All photos courtesy Page Street Publishing
Fairly new to the NYC culinary scene, Jamie Bissonnette has long been regarded as one of the best chefs in the Northeast (see his James Beard Foundation nominations and awards, for instance). The recipient of Food & Wine magazine's People's Choice: Best New Chef and winner of the $10,000 grand prize on Food Network's Chopped, the executive chef/owner of Boston's Toro and Coppa as well as Chelsea's Toro (85 Tenth Avenue; 212-691-2360) should certainly be accustomed to the limelight. Bissonnette has recently stepped up his game even further; the renowned champion of nose-to-tail cuisine just released his first tome, The New Charcuterie Cookbook: Exceptional Cured Meats to Make and Serve at Home.

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Marcus Samuelsson 'Wants to Encourage People to Evoke a Feeling' With Marcus Off Duty

Photos courtesy Marcus Samuelsson Group
Not long after he arrived stateside 20 years ago, Marcus Samuelsson started racking up awards. At the age of 23, when he was Aquavit's executive chef, he received his first three-star rating from the New York Times -- he was the youngest chef to ever do so at the time. Four years later, he was assigned the "Rising Star Chef" award by the James Beard Foundation. He's since gone on to openly the highly acclaimed Red Rooster Harlem (310 Lenox Avenue; 212-792-9001), become a New York Times award-winning author, cook dinner at the White House, and launch several other concepts. Now the amicable chef is inviting readers into his home, with Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home.

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

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

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'

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

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

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

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

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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