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The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions

Posted in Abruzzo, Caro Diario.(dear diary..), cucina, cucina povere, Events & Appearances, Holidays, La Dolce Vita, recipes, Share the Joy!, slow food, special occasions, the Mediterranean diet, Uncategorized, and upcoming books

The Following Review was just published by ForeWord Reviews at

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The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions Second Edition

Maria Liberati

Art of Living, Prima Media

Softcover $24.95 (236pp)


This is the second edition of the second book in Maria Liberati’s Basic Art of Italian Cooking series: The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions. This book focuses on cooking for celebrations, and its first edition won the 2009 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for Best Italian Cuisine Book in the US A. It will surely be a celebrated addition to any foodie’s kitchen shelf. The book moves through the yearly calendar of holidays, beginning with Christmas Eve, a meal often celebrated in the United States. Liberati moves on to the lesser- known Feast of the Seven Fishes, a sumptuous Christmas Day meal, a celebratory New Year’s Eve and Day, La Befana, Valentine’s Day, and Carnevale (a feast rooted in Italian Roman

history). The author has assigned each festive occasion a few recipes for each course: appetizers,

first course, second course, desserts, and even beverages. Recipes each receive their own page, with Italian dish names translated into English for an American audience. At times, helpful tips related to food or table presentation are inserted along the bottom of the page.

The book’s straightforwardness and charisma comes as much from its tone as it s format of condensed, manageable ‘holiday’ chapters. In each section, the author introduces readers to the origins and significance of the meal by giving an anecdote from her own family experiences in her house in Italy. These stories lend a personal warmth, authenticity, and simplicity that

making readers feel that they might be in an Italian country house, chatting with extended family

members while the meal is being prepared. The recipes themselves are written simply, without jargon, and are accessible to cooks just beginning to dabble in authentic Italian cuisine. Liberati has also thoughtfully included a combined glossary and index of sorts in the rear, to help readers

navigate the many Italian words throughout the book. The only thing left wanting in this volume is the occasional photograph of a dish, either finished or in progress, which would be especially helpful to the novice cook.

When the holidays roll around, Liberati’s book might be a wonderful gift book for that gourmet chef in your life or the student of food culture, or for your own enjoyment. (July 2010) Gabriela Worrel

Review date: October 2010.

Get Your copy of the Book selected as The Best Italian Cuisine Book in the USA- The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition

October 27th-11 AM –the !10 Show NBC TV – cooking segment from The Basic Art of Italian Cooking : Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition

October 29th-31st- The Gourmet Food & Wine Show at the Valley Forge Convention Center-culinary book signing with Christina of Christina Cooks! and Fabio from the Food Network.

November 2nd- Fair Lakes Pubic Library, Fair Lakes, NJ-Culinary Book signing and sampling of recipes

December 4th- Borders, Princeton, NJ- 1 PM

For more info on upcoming appearances email

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