cover image Bestia: Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A.

Bestia: Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A.

Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis, with Lesley Suter. Ten Speed, $35 (336p) ISBN 978-0-399-58090-1

In this excellent debut, the husband-and-wife chefs/owners of L.A. restaurant Bestia share their personal story and provide recipes for many of their menu dishes. The opening chapter of pantry items runs over 40 pages and is a treasury of pickles, preserves, vinaigrettes, sauces and stocks. These “unromantic fundamentals,” prove their worth in starters like sunchoke soup with pickled fresno chiles, and entrees like grilled rib eye with apple balsamic-black butter sauce, and blood orange honey syrup in a crème fraiche panna cotta. Embracing a nose to tail philosophy, the restaurant staff works through 440 pounds of pig every week, and pork turns up in a spicy Calabrian sausage called ’nduja, in pasta options like tortellini di mortadella, and even in a cocktail (pork fat is the key to the chef’s old fashioned, which twists the traditional recipe by using a smoked pork–infused bourbon). With support from Suter, a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, and photos by lifestyle and food photographer Nicole Franzen, the restaurant’s rustic charms come to life in this sweet and savory collection. (Oct.)