Restaurant Man

Joe Bastianich. Viking, $27.95 (274p) ISBN 978-0-670-02352-3
The restaurateur/wine producer—and rising television (MasterChef) personality, behind Batali et al.—charts his personal and professional journey in this salty, rollicking memoir. Bastianich’s father, Felice, owned an Italian restaurant in Queens where the young author learned the business alongside his mother and now-famous chef, Lidia. The family spent summers on the Italian-Yugoslav border, where local foods, wines, and the people behind them made a deep and lasting impression. Through lessons at home, at the family restaurant, at school, and on the streets, including time on Wall Street during the early 1990s, Bastianich sought his own identity. The strong pull of his heritage and its food and wine, however, soon transformed him into a “restaurant man” like his father. Early lessons came hard, even while his family history helped, and success did, too. His meeting with Mario Batali and the opening of their first joint project, along with his own winemaking and wine-selling ventures rewrote contemporary Italian cuisine. Though the author takes gutsy credit for innovations like the “everything bagel” and bar dining, his forthrightness about the business nitty-gritty and his own failures and mistakes are bonus takeaways along the utterly readable way. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/23/2012
Release date: 05/01/2012
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MP3 CD - 978-1-4692-0128-3
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