Virtual Gourmet

  April 30, 2023                                                                                            NEWSLETTER

Founded in 1996 


Hannah Waddington in "Ted Lasso"





By John Mariani


By John Mariani

By John Mariani


By John Mariani


On this week's episode of my WVOX Radio Show "Almost Golden," on Wed. May 3, at 11AM EDT,I will be showcasing the great British female singers, from Dusty Springfield to Joss Stone. Go to: The episode will also be archived at: almostgolden.



By John Mariani

                                                                                    Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn in "Roman Holiday" (1953)

    After a week eating around Normandy and Brittany last year, feasting on rich French food, from the buttery croissants in the morning to the pâté de campagne at lunch and riz de veau in cream sauce at dinner and ending off with cheeses and tarte Tatin  (below), I needed a break. Finding myself in the charming old city of Rennes, I spotted a pizzeria—there are lots of them in town!—and my desire for that ubiquitous Italian comfort food kicked in.
            The place looked like a thousand other pizzerias, and the smell of tomato and melting cheese was in the air. I sat down at one of the Formica tables, ordered an individual pizza. Big mistake! For while there might well be some decent pizzerias in France, or Rennes, this was not one of them. One bite and I realized, not for the first time, that eating one country’s food in another country can be risky. I left the other slices on the tray.
            The lesson learned was that eating the food of a country where you have only a limited amount of time, that is, on vacation or business, is always the smartest move, not least because the cooks of a particular region—it could be Provence, Tuscany, Sichuan or Goa—have had centuries during which they learned from each other to create culinary traditions that are far more likely than ordering pizza in Rennes.  
            Of course, internationalism has shrunken the world’s gastronomy so that you can get Cantonese soup dumplings in Stockholm just as you can get enchiladas in Dublin. And some may be very good facsimiles (with the exception of bagels, which never rise to the level of the best, though dwindling, bagels in New York). The point is, if the best food in a country or city is likely to be indigenous to that city, why, unless you live there for a year, would you want to eat other kinds of foods from across the globe?
            It is particularly perplexing why travel articles in magazines, newspaper and on-line concoct lists of the “best” or the “essential” restaurants in a city that include half a dozen or more “foreign” eateries in a list of ten. I can’t imagine spending five days in, say, Prague and be persuaded to go for sushi, or a week in Oslo and hankering for tapas.
            To be sure, there are very big cities with large ethnic populations, like New York, Berlin, Tokyo and London, where some remarkably good restaurants of every kind exist. (London in particular has terrific Indian restaurants, like Veeraswamey [above] and Paris some fine North African spots, like Chez Omar .) But it makes little sense for an American to go to London to eat at the Hard Rock Café, or to Bangkok for a wagyu burger. Italians are notorious as travelers for their insistence that there are no good Italian restaurants elsewhere, yet within a day in a foreign city they are dying for a plate of spaghetti alla marinara and are almost always disappointed.
            I shall leave it to those few well-heeled gastronomes who book tables months in advance at places like Noma in Copenhagen or Eleven Madison Park in New York to spend $1,000 per person over four hours to eat food that bears no resemblance to what normal people eat.
        In a recent listicle in of the 18 “Essential Restaurants in Bologna, Italy,” a place named Ahimè is mannedby a team of young chefs who produce “fermentation-forward, casually creative dining in a city known for heavy traditional fare, breathing life into Bologna’s nonexistent modernist dining scene.”  
        I haven’t noticed that Bologna’s food is suffocating from a lack of antic modernist food. But with dishes like cauliflower with white chocolate, “squash ravioli accented by apricot vinegar, turnips with lardo, gnocchi in dashi and parsley oil, and roasted brassicas with miso and various fruit-ferment  ... and gummy bear-inspired spaghetti with wild licorice or chitarra tossed in duck liver and lemon,” I can imagine why “the restaurant is generally underappreciated.”
        If one can enjoy the most sumptuous tortellini cuddled in a Parmigiano sauce or lasagne verde (left) in the city that invented it, why would anyone want to eat the weird food at Ahimè? (Which, no surprise, has one Michelin star.)
         One can be a so-called adventurous eater in any city, without drinking cobra’s blood, à la Anthony Bourdain in Bangkok, merely by sampling what the locals do eat every day. Not everything may be to your liking, but at least it will give you a better appreciation for what goes into the local culture, as well as into the people.






By John Mariani

        No chef-restaurateur knows better about the ups and downs of the  business than Marco Moreira, who suffered through the Covid epidemic and a fire set by an arsonist in 2021. What’s a guy to do? Rise like a phoenix, rebuilding and re-naming his restaurant, now 15 EAST@Tocqueville, with a bold new redesign meant to resemble a Parisian townhouse. 
        The building already had a fine 1906 Beaux Arts entrance, which now opens onto a small cocktail bar, then into a spacious 66-seat dining room, once in colors of lemon and gold, now done in shades of aubergine and chocolate accented by rose accents. A lovely fireplace warms the room, tall mirrors seem to double the space, table lamps and chandeliers  throw a glowing light on fine napery; an art deco carpet and Venetian plastered ceilings complete the look, which puts me in mind of Restaurant Guy Savoy in Paris, though far less formal.
oreira (left), born in São Paulo, trained as a sushi chef, and after stints in New York at Regine’s, The Mark, Bouley and Quilted Giraffe, opened a sushi bar at Dean & DeLuca. After opening the original Tocqueville in 2000 with his wife, Jo-Ann Makovitsky, he was behind the stove, but in recent years has taken over more as an overseer.   
The executive chef at the new restaurant is
Paris-born Julien Wargnies (above), who worked at Le Cygnein in that city, L’Orangerie in Los Angeles and Le Cirque in New York before joining Tocqueville seven years ago. He offers three tasting menus: three, five and seven courses  ($125/$175/$225)—and a wine pairing option with the latter two. (At these prices there shouldn’t be so many supplements on the menus.) There is also an Omakase Room offering a 20-course sushi and sashimi experience, with seven  seats at the counter and eight at tables. You may also opt for sushi items from the dining room menu (with tastings at $95 and $155). The wine list is very extensive, built up over two decades, and very expensive.
        Given Moreira’s heritage, experience and wide travel, his menus reflect where he’s been and what he’s learned over thirty years, though he keeps some signature items on his menu—like the s
ea urchin and angel’s hair pasta alla carbonara, a marvelous dish that is rich and flavorful; grilled Mediterranean octopus with a chickpea emulsion, trout tartare and lobster "Duo" cassoule (right);  and cured and lightly smoked duck breast with a pithivier.
        We were a party of four, so we ordered as many different dishes as possible under the three-course menu option, to which were added three amuses—a foie gras donut that was an immediate alert as to how good the meal would be; beet and goat’s cheese cannelloni; and a latke with crème fraîche and sevruga caviar. 
We also gobbled up some wonderful Brazilian cassava and parmesan bread with our cocktails. An assortment of sushi followed containing bluefin tuna and salmon.          
The white asparagus season has begun, and the plump spears were teamed with a poached egg and dotted with golden osietra caviar ($25 supplement). Though the portion of fresh duck foie gras was small, it was served in a delectable chawanmushi golden egg custard. There was also a gorgeous spring pea soup with the surprise of a Comte cheese souffle.   
Among the entrees, the most applause was for carnaroli risotto with wild mushrooms and suffused with rosemary and well-aged Parmigiano. The highly regarded duck breast came rare, with mandarin orange, a lovely endive marmalade and the bird’s natural juices to make an ideal coalescence of sweet, bitter, salty and meaty flavors (left). It was one of the finest duck dishes I’ve ever had.
        Black sea bass was impeccably cooked and fleshy, served simply with sautéed baby spinach and a citrusy caper-flecked classic  grenobloise. Poached Maine lobster came with forbidden black rice, Napa cabbage, lemon grass and a Thai red curry reduction.
        There is a cheese course available ($30 supplement), then
beautifully composed desserts like caramelized banana laced with rum on a sable crust and milk chocolate Chantilly cream (right); poached pineapple with kaffir lime, vanilla bean, coconut lime sorbet; and a flourless Tuscan Amadei bittersweet chocolate cake for two.
    Despite those in the food media who contend that fine dining establishments like Tocqueville are fading fast, in fact, Moreira has a tremendous amount of stiff competition, from Le CouCou and Essential by Christophe to
L’Abeille and Luthun, among many others. It is the kind of competition, forged in difficult circumstances,  that causes them all to operate at a very high level of gastronomy and hospitality while maintaining their own individuality. Amazing as it seems, you’ll never have the same dish at one that you’d have at another. And in no other city in America is that still the case.


Open Tues.-Sat. 5:15-9:30 p.m.


By  John Mariani


To read previous chapters of GOING AFTER HARRY LIME go to the archive




“The great advantage of being a writer is that you can spy on people. You're there, listening to every word, but part of you is observing. Everything is useful to a writer, you see — every scrap, even the longest and most boring of luncheon parties.”—Graham Greene


         Now the only problem was getting a visa to enter Russia, then to make travel plans.   Katie called the Consular Section of the Embassy of the Russian Federation (left) in London for an appointment to obtain visas and was able to get a Monday morning slot, two days away.  The Embassy was on Kensington Palace Gardens, one of London’s most expensive streets--nicknamed “Billionaires’ Row”—and lined with other embassies, including Finland, Lebanon, Israel and the Czech Republic. Russia’s was at Number 5, a large white Neo-Renaissance building flying the red, white and blue flag and behind black iron gates.
         Katie and David arrived promptly and were efficiently shown how to apply for visas by a young woman in a bureaucratic navy blue suit who was straight faced but helpful in filling out the forms for a business visa. The Americans wrote down the purpose of their visit—researching an article on the city of Moscow for McClure’s magazine—handed over their passports to be photocopied, and were told the visas would be ready in about four to five days.
         “Is there any way to expedite our request?” asked Katie. “Is there perhaps a one-day service?”
         The woman looked at the Americans’ passports, then told them it would depend on how busy the consulate staff was that week and that it would cost 140 pounds Sterling, plus 45 more as a service charge.  Each.
         “Is there a reason you need to be in Russia this week?” she asked.
         Katie responded that she was on a deadline for her story and that she only had a few days to spend in Moscow on her research.
        The woman nodded and told them to wait.  Fifteen minutes went by before she returned to say, “Yes, you can get the visas on Wednesday, if you can bring cash here to the Embassy by noon today.”
         Katie said that shouldn’t be a problem and asked if there were an ATM machine near the Embassy. 
“By the way,” Kate asked David on their way to the ATM, “how’s your Russian?
         “Limited to about six curse words used by Russian mobsters in New York,” he said. “And those, I’m sure, are highly colloquial.”
         “Guess we’ll need a translation book,” said Katie, who’d spotted a bookstore on the opposite side of the street.  “How about you go buy one and I’ll get the money for the visas?”
         “Okay, but like everybody else, I tend to linger in bookstores. Meet you there in a few minutes.”
         When Katie got to the bookstore minutes later, David had a paperback Russian translation dictionary under his arm and was in the cinema section of the store, looking at a book on British crime films.
         “Who knew the Brits made so many crime movies?” he said. “Thick book.” He thumbed through it, reeling off titles, including some early Hitchcock films made in England like the serial killer movie called The Lodger and another called Blackmail. 
“It has about six Carol Reed films besides The Third Man,” he noted. “Night Train to Munich in 1940, Odd Man Out in 1947, The Key in 1958, Our Man in Havana in ’59, The Running Man in ’63.  I guess I’ve seen most of them, have you?”
         Katie said, “I don’t think so. Maybe The Running Man on TV.”
         “Pretty good movie,” said David. “Laurence Harvey fakes his own death to collect insurance money, then gets tracked down by an insurance investigator, played by Alan Bates.”
         Katie saw the irony right away: “Another Carol Reed movie where the bad guy fakes his own death, just like in The Third Man.”
         “Interesting, ain’t it? Well, it’s not the most unique idea in the world.”
         David bought both the dictionary and the crime film book with his own money. They returned to the embassy with the cash from the bank, handed it to a bureaucrat who counted it twice and put it in an envelope along with their applications.
         “The visas should be ready after 3 p.m. on Wednesday,” she said. “Have a nice trip.”

         “How do you say that in Russian?” asked David.

         Zhelayu khoroshey poyezdki.”
         David wasn’t even going to attempt repeating it, and Katie didn’t bother because she knew they’d never need to use the phrase.
         The two Americans spent the next two days being typical tourists, visiting the requisite sights, the British Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum, and walking all the way, never taking the tube.  They’d stop for a bite to eat and build up an appetite for dinner.  Katie would ask what kind of food David wanted to try and David would always answer, “Whatever you like.” 
Having had pub fare, Indian curry and Italian food, Katie suggested Chinese or sushi—a branch of the high-end Nobu Japanese restaurant (left) had opened on Park Lane, where they went for a chef-chosen omakase dinner of exotica David mostly enjoyed, and if he didn’t he’d just shrug and say, “It’s okay.”
         During the day their project never came up in conversation, but at night over dinner they spoke mostly about their strategy for getting to see Philby. David advised against calling the number Lentov had given them, assuming that the phone was tapped. 
“I think we should just go to Philby’s neighborhood,” he said, “look around, maybe ask some neighbors about him, and see what we can find out before knocking on his door.”
         “How much do you think we’re going to find out from Russians who probably don’t speak any English?” asked Katie.
         “You’ve got a point. From what Lentov said, Philby doesn’t live right in the center of modern-day Moscow. Christ, I wish we had a contact over there. Do you think we should call Southey, just tell him we’re going over for background material.”
         “Southey’s too smart to swallow that,” said Katie. “It would get his antennas up.”
         David wondered if that would be such a bad thing, saying, “I assume Southey would have been in touch with Lentov after our meeting in Southall, wanting to know what occurred and what we talked about.”
         “I don’t know,” said Katie. “Remember Southey called Lentov scum.”
         “I forgot that. But then maybe that was a dodge on Southey’s part. After all, why send us to someone he considers scum? What I’m thinking is that Southey might very well know Philby’s alive but didn’t want to tell us himself because he’s still old school MI6.  So he passed us off to Lentov, who no longer gives a rat’s ass what MI6 thinks.”
         “So, you’re saying we should tell Southey what we learned from Lentov?”
         “I don’t know,” said David. “I can’t make up my mind.”
         Katie sipped on a cup of sake while David finished his second beer.
         “How about if we asked Southey if he thought there was any chance Philby is still alive and go from there?” she said. “If he says yes, or even maybe, we can make a case for Southey helping us out with a contact in Moscow. If he says no, then we’re right back where we are now.”
         David rubbed his chin then said, “I suppose it’s worth a try. If Southey and Lentov both know Philby’s alive, and we hint that we know, too, he may open up a bit. Let’s call him first thing in the morning on the pretext of his taking a look at my archive list of names.”
         Katie and David were smiling now, looking a bit smug, but after a few minutes Katie’s demeanor changed.
         “What’s wrong?” asked David.
         Katie drank the last of her sake and said, “It just occurred to me—well, for about the hundredth time, actually—that we’ve been too intent upon nailing Philby as Harry Lime, when it may very well be someone else.”
         David shook his head and said, “But what does it really matter any more? The bigger story is finding Philby alive. Connecting him to Harry Lime would just be icing on the cake. You’d be killing two birds with one stone, but Philby is Big Bird in this story.”
         “I know, you’re right,” she said. “Maybe I’ve just been so involved from the beginning with finding Harry Lime—this completely fictitious character from a 1949 movie—that the bigger picture hasn’t yet emerged. And God forbid we don’t find or contact Kim Philby in Moscow. That will not go down well with Dobell.”
         David had long ago learned that Katie’s world was different from his in many ways, not least in their careers. While he was a detective David had seen so many cases go nowhere, so many leads evaporate, and not a few persons of interest dead before he had a chance to interview them.  And,  although he’d earned the respect of his colleagues and superiors, he’d hear from the chief of police when he thought David had squandered resources, money and time on an investigation that just didn’t pan out. 
David had worked under Rudy Giuliani when he was U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. As a prosecutor Giuliani always sought out high profile cases like Wall Street crooks Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken, along with drug lords and the heads of organized crime. Giuliani loved the spotlight and invented the “perp walk” as a way to get his arrests on TV. Then Giuliani became Mayor, soon proclaiming that he had  personally reduced crime in New York, at a time when crime was dropping in many major cities in America.
         David had been more than content to be on the streets getting the dirty work done on all his superiors’ behalf. And he knew Giuliani would come down hard on him if he botched a case the mayor had a special interest in.  When David saw he could rise no higher and the streets took their toll, he retired after 25 years on the force. 
In Katie’s world, where the resources for investigative reporting were not unlimited, even at The New York Times and Washington Post, a story that did not work out would be costly. The irony was that at a union paper like the Times or Daily News, Katie’s job would be secure for as long as she wanted it; at a privately owned magazine like McClure’s, she could get demoted or her contract might not be renewed. Only her sterling reputation and solid reporting in the past, including the two cases David was involved with her on, gave her a longer leash than most magazine reporters. It also didn’t hurt that she’d almost gotten killed on her two most famous stories.  
So, if the Philby story didn’t work out, Katie’s editor would probably rant and rave and put her in what he enjoyed calling the dog house for a while. Worse come to worst, she could always go back to the Harry Lime story on her own, if Dobell didn’t want any part of it.


John Mariani, 2016




The Best California Wines Come
from Family-Owned Vineyards


Gerrit and Tatiana Bouchaine

By John Mariani


            It should seem obvious that the people who live on their own vineyards are going to be intensely interested in every aspect of a product that has their name on the label. Estates owned and run by families, often generational, have a reputation to protect as well as a way of life that corporate wineries simply don’t share to the same degree. Here, of many, are some California wineries whose family members are evident in every aspect of growing, picking, crushing, fermenting, aging and bottling wines they are very proud of.



Cline Eight Spur Zinfandel 2020 ($36)—Fred and Nancy Cline planted Zinfandel in Oakley in 1982 (along with Rhône varietals like Carignane, Syrah and Mourvèdre), moving the winery to Sonoma-Carneros in 1989, where this strikingly delicious Zin is made from vines 40-100 years old at  School House Creek Vineyard, owned by the Petersens, one of the oldest grape growing families in the region. Usually Zins are recommended with spicy, garlicky dishes, including pizza, but this is a big, bold example of how complex the varietal can be.  I would happily match it to game dishes and hearty stews.

Three Sticks Origin Durell Vineyard Chardonnay 2021  ($70 )—Sonoma-based Three Sticks estate, founded in 2002 by Bill Price,  produces small lots, and this is one of the most impressive Chardonnays I’ve tasted in some time. Not heavy, but not one-dimensional, it shows off good body at 14% alcohol. Winemaker Ryan Prichard has a talent for bringing out the essence of Chardonnay, which can be a fairly neutral grape, and takes advantage of California sun to imbue it with a natural sweetness in tandem with acidic tang. It’s a lot to pay, but I think it’s worth it for a Chardonnay so splendidly matched to all seafood and to a wide variety of mild cheeses.


Kenwood Vineyards Six Ridges Russian River Valley  Chardonnay 2019 ($26) —For a far less pricey Chardonnay, this Kenwood delivers a good deal of pleasure on its various fruit notes, a touch of citrus and a richness of texture that is superb with shellfish. The harvest that year came early, so the wine spent an extended time on the lees to allow for concentration that comes into play with its 14.1% alcohol.

Bouchaine Estate Pinot Noir 2019
($37)Bouchaine's Hyde Vineyard produces elegant Syrahs, along with this refined Pinot Noir with pronounced fruit, in the California cool-climate style. It was an ideal growing season, so the ripeness and phenolics were excellent. Fermentation for 18 months yielded a wine of finesse and a balance of acid not always the case in California. It’s a delightful wine with  veal or lamb, even grilled salmon this summer. 

Peju Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 ($70)—Tony Peju has been dubbed the “Father of Custom Crush and Direct to Consumer Wine Marketing,” an awkward but apt title for its savvy. His wife Herta, known as HB, was born in Austria and grew up in Venezuela. In 1983, HB and Tony purchased a 30-acre property in Rutherford that became their winery. Lisa Peju became the welcoming face of the winery, as well as the one to represent it outside of California. Ariana Peju has overseen the installation of 720 solar panels spread over 10,000 square feet of the winery roof to provide 35% of the winery’s energy. So, the family name is on the line, and this elegantly crafted Cabernet Sauvignon shows breeding, as suitable for a fine French dinner as for an outdoor barbecue.




"Most important advice to remember on a nudist beach is to slather factor 50 sunscreen on everything; otherwise you'll soon have a hotter arse than Kim Kardashian. (I know it's Easter but nobody wants that kind of hot cross bun.) It's also best not to call out, 'I'll have a large one,' even if quite near a beach bar. And under no circumstances do yoga. Just picture the squat pose. Need I say anything more?"--Kathy Lette, "Midlife naked holiday in Australia was exhilarating and freeing," London Sunday Times (4/7/23)



 Any of John Mariani's books below may be ordered from

   The Hound in Heaven (21st Century Lion Books) is a  novella, and for anyone who loves dogs, Christmas, romance, inspiration, even the supernatural, I hope you'll find this to be a treasured  favorite. The  story concerns how, after a New England teacher, his wife and their two daughters adopt a stray puppy found in their barn in northern Maine, their lives seem full of promise. But when tragedy strikes, their wonderful dog Lazarus and the spirit of Christmas are the only things that may bring his master back from the edge of despair. 


“What a huge surprise turn this story took! I was completely stunned! I truly enjoyed this book and its message.” – Actress Ali MacGraw

“He had me at Page One. The amount of heart, human insight, soul searching, and deft literary strength that John Mariani pours into this airtight novella is vertigo-inducing. Perhaps ‘wow’ would be the best comment.” – James Dalessandro, author of Bohemian Heart and 1906.

“John Mariani’s Hound in Heaven starts with a well-painted portrayal of an American family, along with the requisite dog. A surprise event flips the action of the novel and captures us for a voyage leading to a hopeful and heart-warming message. A page turning, one sitting read, it’s the perfect antidote for the winter and promotion of holiday celebration.” – Ann Pearlman, author of The Christmas Cookie Club and A Gift for my Sister.

“John Mariani’s concise, achingly beautiful novella pulls a literary rabbit out of a hat – a mash-up of the cosmic and the intimate, the tragic and the heart-warming – a Christmas tale for all ages, and all faiths. Read it to your children, read it to yourself… but read it. Early and often. Highly recommended.” – Jay Bonansinga, New York Times bestselling author of Pinkerton’s War, The Sinking of The Eastland, and The Walking Dead: The Road To Woodbury.

“Amazing things happen when you open your heart to an animal. The Hound in Heaven delivers a powerful story of healing that is forged in the spiritual relationship between a man and his best friend. The book brings a message of hope that can enrich our images of family, love, and loss.” – Dr. Barbara Royal, author of The Royal Treatment.


The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink by John F. Mariani (Bloomsbury USA, $35)

Modesty forbids me to praise my own new book, but let me proudly say that it is an extensive revision of the 4th edition that appeared more than a decade ago, before locavores, molecular cuisine, modernist cuisine, the Food Network and so much more, now included. Word origins have been completely updated, as have per capita consumption and production stats. Most important, for the first time since publication in the 1980s, the book includes more than 100 biographies of Americans who have changed the way we cook, eat and drink -- from Fannie Farmer and Julia Child to Robert Mondavi and Thomas Keller.

"This book is amazing! It has entries for everything from `abalone' to `zwieback,' plus more than 500 recipes for classic American dishes and drinks."--Devra First, The Boston Globe.

"Much needed in any kitchen library."--Bon Appetit.

Now in Paperback, too--How Italian Food Conquered the World (Palgrave Macmillan)  has won top prize  from the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.  It is a rollicking history of the food culture of Italy and its ravenous embrace in the 21st century by the entire world. From ancient Rome to la dolce vita of post-war Italy, from Italian immigrant cooks to celebrity chefs, from pizzerias to high-class ristoranti, this chronicle of a culinary diaspora is as much about the world's changing tastes, prejudices,  and dietary fads as about our obsessions with culinary fashion and style.--John Mariani

"Eating Italian will never be the same after reading John Mariani's entertaining and savory gastronomical history of the cuisine of Italy and how it won over appetites worldwide. . . . This book is such a tasteful narrative that it will literally make you hungry for Italian food and arouse your appetite for gastronomical history."--Don Oldenburg, USA Today. 

"Italian restaurants--some good, some glitzy--far outnumber their French rivals.  Many of these establishments are zestfully described in How Italian Food Conquered the World, an entertaining and fact-filled chronicle by food-and-wine correspondent John F. Mariani."--Aram Bakshian Jr., Wall Street Journal.

"Mariani admirably dishes out the story of Italy’s remarkable global ascent to virtual culinary hegemony....Like a chef gladly divulging a cherished family recipe, Mariani’s book reveals the secret sauce about how Italy’s cuisine put gusto in gusto!"--David Lincoln Ross,

"Equal parts history, sociology, gastronomy, and just plain fun, How Italian Food Conquered the World tells the captivating and delicious story of the (let's face it) everybody's favorite cuisine with clarity, verve and more than one surprise."--Colman Andrews, editorial director of The Daily

"A fantastic and fascinating read, covering everything from the influence of Venice's spice trade to the impact of Italian immigrants in America and the evolution of alta cucina. This book will serve as a terrific resource to anyone interested in the real story of Italian food."--Mary Ann Esposito, host of PBS-TV's Ciao Italia.

"John Mariani has written the definitive history of how Italians won their way into our hearts, minds, and stomachs.  It's a story of pleasure over pomp and taste over technique."--Danny Meyer, owner of NYC restaurants Union Square Cafe,  The Modern, and Maialino.



MARIANI'S VIRTUAL GOURMET NEWSLETTER is published weekly.  Publisher: John Mariani. Editor: Walter Bagley. Contributing Writers: Christopher Mariani,  Misha Mariani, John A. Curtas, Gerry Dawes, Geoff Kalish. Contributing Photographer: Galina Dargery. Technical Advisor: Gerry McLoughlin.


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