cover image Chi Spacca: A New Approach to American Cooking

Chi Spacca: A New Approach to American Cooking

Nancy Silverton, with Ryan DeNicola and Carolynn Carreño. Knopf, $35 (384p) ISBN 978-0-525-65465-0

Restaurateur Silverton (The Mozza Cookbook) gives her all in this excellent carnivorous compendium of dishes served at her eponymous restaurant in Los Angeles. Despite the American cooking referred to in the title, these recipes “are inspired by how an Italian butcher might cook.” This is the rare Italian-accented cookbook without a chapter on pasta, but with a grilling tutorial instead, here from executive chef DeNicola. Recipes are solid and aren’t always simplified for the home kitchen: focaccia di Recco (which, Silverton notes, is ordered by 85% of the tables at Chi Spacca) requires a 14-inch copper pizza pan and cheese that needs to dry in the refrigerator for 10 days to two weeks before being used, and the preparation of a beef cheek and bone marrow pie is best spread over three days. Nose-to-tail ethos can be seen in dishes such as toasts made with beef drippings and roasted amberjack collars. The latter are part of a fish chapter with surprising depth, given the carnivorous nature of the proceedings. Best suited for experienced cooks, this outstanding volume is poised to expand Silverton’s considerable audience. (Oct.)