Mike Kalina's Travel Cookbook

Mike Kalina, Author Dutton Books $18.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-525-24916-0
``Goin' wherever my palate may lead me, / Searchin' this whole world for great chefs to feed me!'' could serve as Kalina's motto, lifted from his ``travelin' gourmet theme song,'' ``Born to Eat.'' The song sets the jaunty tone for the Pittsburgh restaurant critic's sometimes silly, sometimes trenchant approach to world cuisine. His book dishes up Americanized versions of foreign recipes, favoring ease of preparation over authenticity and short recipes over long (e.g., ``pasta with presto pesto''). Kalina aims to whet the appetites of armchair travelers across America with a cookbook based on his popular PBS series of the same name--and without intimidating anyone with complex instructions or unrecognizable ingredients: ``If you can find it in Pittsburgh, you can probably find it anywhere.'' Most recipes have fewer than 10 ingredients; many represent the height of simplicity, such as grilled scallions, pasta with cream, spinach and cheese, and ``pineapple rhapsody'' (slices of fresh pineapple marinated in creme de menthe). Anecdotes ``off the eaten path'' are sandwiched into the text to make this enjoyable, if lightweight, reading. While experienced cooks will find little that is new, Kalina's fans will be rewarded. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1990
Release date: 11/01/1990
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