Virtual Gourmet

  July 9, 2023                                                                                            NEWSLETTER

Founded in 1996 


Danny Aiello and Gian Carlo Esposito in "Do the Right Thing" (1989)



Part One

By John Mariani


By John Mariani

By John Mariani



Part One

By John Mariani



         A few weeks back I wrote about the foods indigenous to Louisville and Kentucky—the hot brown sandwich, Derby Pie, the Old-Fashioned cocktail and others. But Louisville increasingly has more of a national and global gastronomy, not least in the gentrifying neighborhoods like Highlands and Germantown, where young chefs have opened as many Thai and Mexican restaurants as they have barbecues and steakhouses.
          On a recent three-day trip to the city, I ate well at some old favorites and some that have now become new ones.

        My first stop, as is usually the case, was Pat’s Steakhouse, which regulars have long called “Min’s” after Minnie Pearlman, who ran it with Michael Francis, back in 1958. His son, Pat, is the new guy, since  1985.  The 150-year-old, two-story coach house with garden gives you an idea of what to expect inside, which is a very old-fashioned décor of dark woods, brass chandeliers, Waterford crystal, hundreds of old photos and white tablecloths, along with a wall of more than 60 bourbons.
        The menu hasn’t budged much in seven decades, so you may begin with an array of icy oysters ($21) and hot rolls and butter. Baby frogs’ legs has long been a staple here ($25.50 serving for two), richly bathed in garlic butter. There’s also Irish stew ($10) in fall and winter.
    Seven cuts of beef are offered, plus meatloaf with tomato sauce ($32), and I like the New York strip steak best; at 16 ounces ($56) it’s a lot to handle. Pat’s fried chicken—half a bird ($31) —is as crunchy and moist as you could imagine, and the potato sides are terrific. Finish off with flakey apple pie or strawberry shortcake.
        The waitstaff has members going back four decades, and Pat only takes Mondays off, so if you don’t ask for him, he’s likely to drop by your table in any case.


2347 Brownsboro Road

Open nightly for dinner


        Jack Fry’s also has the charm of the antique to its décor, and pre-dates Pat’s by a quarter century in business, established by Jack Fry and his wife, Flossie. Jack’s infatuation with sports and gambling provided him with an array of colorful, rakish characters from those worlds, and the dining room is decked out accordingly with mementos.
        Jack closed the place in 1972, but, after a brief stint as a Mexican eatery, it rebounded as Jack Fry’s in 1982, then bought by Susan Seiller in 1987. In 2008, ownership passed to former manager Stephanie J. Meeks, who is vitally involved in every aspect, and treats every newcomer like an old-timer.
        There’s a bit of Southern twang in the cooking here, with classics like shrimp and grits ($18), spicy fried oysters ($18) and buttermilk fried chicken sandwich on a bun ($17), with boursin cheese and Fresno chili slaw that packs a punch, but it’s more a continental menu with snails in garlic butter ($18), braised short ribs with crispy onions ($43), and duck confit
over English peas and basil puree ($36).  I raved about the chicken tortilla soup ($9). The blue cheese salad ($11) with Gorgonzola is a sumptuous rendering. They do a seasonal fruit cobbler with vanilla ice  cream ($10). 

007 Bardstown Road

Open for lunch Mon.-Fri.; for dinner nightly.



Louisville has its share of barbecue pits and stands, many Black-owned. My choice is always led by whether there is wood stacked up outside and smoke curling from a chimney, both virtues I found at Blackdeck, owned by self-taught chef Chan Nelson, who insists, “You see, Great BBQ is like a great steak. You don’t drown a great aged steak in A1 or any other steak sauce. You let a great steak speak for itself. Great BBQ is the same way.”
        The posted menu of signature sandwiches totals ten options from $16-$24, including “burnt end bomb” of pulled pork. There are also platters of ribs and a three-meat platter, or you can buy the meat by the pound ($14-$21) and sides ($4) of smokey beans, smoked mac and cheese, and yams.         

801 West Kenwood

Open daily for lunch and dinner.







77 West Houston Street


         The space that was once the bar Peju Club, which closed in 2020, has been transformed from its shadowy Asian ambience to a facsimile of a modern Ukrainian lounge and dining room at a time when it seems like a supportive act to investigate Ukrainian food culture. There is, in fact, a Little Ukraine community just  blocks away on the Lower East Side.
        Partners Nazar Hrab, Travis Odegard, Matt Sylvester, who also own the East Village’s Pineapple Club and Bee’s Knees Cocktail Bar in Williamsburg, met while working at Mercer Kitchen, and later partnered with
Seattle tech entrepreneur and designer Josh Spiezle, opening Slava last November. It is named after Nazar’s mother Yaroslava and has taken on a second meaning as a reference to the phrase “Slava Ukraini,” which means glory to Ukraine.
        The restaurant is up two steep staircases from Houston Street, and you enter to find a long room done in tones of dark blue-green with burgundy tufted banquettes. There are murals by Ukrainian artist
Kateryna Lisova that are available for sale, with proceeds going to benefit Revived Soldiers Ukraine.
        Lighting is pretty low, certainly not bright enough to see the color and beauty of chef Pavlo “Pasha” Servetnyk’s food. We had a comfortable booth with a table lamp, commandeered another and could then see just how lovely the spread of dishes was. The rest of the tables are only lighted by votive candles.
Servetnyk (above, left), who looks barely out of his teens, has a  sturdy résumé, with stints at El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain, and Gaggan Anand in Bangkok. Afterwards he opened five Breadman Pizzerias in his native Ukraine, and when war broke out, he transformed his largest pizzeria into a bakery that distributed 500,000 free loaves of bread to the starving residents of Kherson—a brave act that caused him to flee to New York, where he worked at La Mercerie. Now at Slava, his entire kitchen brigade is composed of
 Ukrainian émigrés.
The menu is of a good size to show a real range of Ukrainian cuisine, which, of course, resembles much of what’s cooked in all nearby regions. His work in pizza-making is evident in the delightful sourdough bread served with porcini butter ($8). It is a perfect accompaniment to the superb borscht ($15), which comes with an emerging beef rib whose meat falls from the bone into the beet-based soup.
        It's impossible to see “Pancakes with Chicken and Porcini”  ($22) topped with Brinza sheep’s milk cheese and seared onions, or a potato pancake with sour cream and salmon roe ($26), and not want to order both, which come brown and steamy and sweet with caramelized onions.
        The house specialties are varenyky, luscious dumplings with various stuffings (made famous by Nikolai Gogol in his story “Christmas Eve”),  and each platter will serve two people as a starter ($18-$20). I loved the potato variety with savory pork fat, and the “Lazy Verenyky” I wanted to keep all to myself: They are like long gnocchi, nicely chewy, with cottage cheese, sour cream, dill, butter Brinza, and both porcini and oyster mushrooms—a dish I would never fail to order whenever I return to Slava. Simpler chicken verenyky were somewhat bland by comparison.
        The main courses number seven, with the only seafood offering a shrimp salad ($23). The rosy sliced duck breast, impeccably cooked with crisp burnished skin ($38), was a delectably good example of  classic technique, and the lamb tenderloin with peas and a spicy, garlicky tomato adjuka sauce ($32) had just the right heft and seasonings that long cooking imparts.
        There is an item called “Fried chicken Kyiv sandwich” ($24),which is not the old-fashioned, butter-oozing chicken Kiev but a first-rate, crispy chicken fillet with aïoli, hot sauce and plenty of roasted potatoes. 2
    A beloved eastern European dessert is cherry verenyky, here topped with sour cream and a rich raspberry sauce ($29). I also enjoyed the pretty cherry meringue tart. 
        Nazar is behind a program of infused vodkas well worth sampling, with a flight of three at $20, flavored with horseradish and honey, pineapple and, if you dare, a fiercely hot chile pepper knock-out. There are also plenty of craft cocktails that come in lovely glassware. Twenty percent of the proceeds from the sale of one made of clarified borscht fortified with vodka go to Revived Soldiers Ukraine to provide medical treatment and supplies  to wounded Ukrainian soldiers.
        The wine list is modest. Wines by the glass are identified only by varietal, not label.
        It’s facile to say that dining at Slava gives you the feeling of being part of something bigger than just eating and drinking. I would happily dine at the Russian Tea Room without compunctions, but at Slava I couldn’t help but feeling some small degree of camaraderie at this troubled time of war in Europe.


Open for dinner nightly; for brunch Sat. & Sun.



By  John Mariani


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




         They took their time with dinner at the Indian restaurant, even had dessert, a cheese-based dumpling in cream called ras-malai.
         They finished their beers and got the bill—David was amazed how cheap it was. Then he pulled a wrapped package out of his jacket pocket.
         “Here’s hoping our little adventure goes onward,” he said.
         “What is this?” asked Katie, looking straight at him.
         “Open it and find out. Something no girl reporter should be without.”
         Katie carefully opened the package the way David always saw women do, and she smiled broadly.
         “You got me a new recorder? Jeez, David, you are a sweetheart. That is so nice of you!”
         “I know you never travel without one, and it helped get us out of one jam before,” he said, referring to the Capone case.
         Katie got halfway up from the table and gave David a kiss on both cheeks. “Grazie mille! Best present I ever got.”
         Katie looked the recorder over and said, “Seems to work the same as my old one. Same brand.”
         David nodded. “I bought batteries for it, too.”
        “Well, let’s test it out,” she said, going through the usual counting to five and playing it back. 
Katie opened her bag to get her credit card. She also took out a lipstick and a compact with a small mirror.  She uncapped the lipstick and applied a single swipe, but dropped the compact on the table with the mirror open. Katie reached for it, then gasped.
         “What?” asked David.
         “I think, maybe, I’ve got a clue about this drug name,” she said, then turned the compact mirror towards David and handed him the paper with the drug name on it. “Hold it up to the mirror.”
         David did so, seeing the words “Emeenifed” and “HgaRX” in the mirror, though reversed. He still didn’t see whatever Katie saw. He shrugged his shoulders.
         “Read what you see in the mirror,” said Katie.
         “Well, it’s reversed, so it reads ‘defineemE XRagH.’ What’s that supposed to mean?”
          “It’s like an anagram. The name of the drug has the letters for ‘neem’ in it. Harold Neame.”
         “I think Philby’s trying to link Neame to that Hungarian drug company.  He knew we’d have to go to a pharmacy to find out there is no such drug and hoped we’d be smart enough on our own to figure out the name and connection.”
         “Holy shit. He must have known this while we were in his apartment, but it was probably bugged so he couldn’t say it out loud.”
         “Yep,” said Katie, “and he also knew that if he’d written down Neame’s real name and address or contact, our fake student friends might find it.”
         “So now we have to figure out this connection to Neame with the drug company. Maybe he works for them, or once did. Maybe he was a black market drug dealer in Vienna after the war and escaped to Hungary with the help of the Russians.”
         “And maybe he’s our Harry Lime.”
         “Did it ever occur to you, Katie, that Philby is deliberately throwing us off the trail and getting our attention away from him?”
         Katie took her time to answer, then said, “That’s a real possibility, isn’t it?”
         “Well, whatever is going on, we have a new excuse to stay in London for a while.”
         “Or fly to Hungary.”
         “I think we’d better keep this to ourselves for now,” said David.
         “You mean I shouldn’t tell Dobell?”
         “Not till we have more to go on. Let’s speak to the pharmacist tomorrow, go over everything and start from there. I don’t think we should talk to Lentov or Southey about this. At least not yet. Remember, according to both the American and British archives, Harold Neame disappeared into thin air.”
         “Or maybe into Hungary,” said Katie, closing her compact and putting it and the recorder back in her bag.

        The next morning Katie and David went down to breakfast early, asking the front desk to alert them to any calls. Back in David’s room the phone rang at ten o’clock. It was the pharmacist from Boots.
         “Mr. Greco, this is Ms. Singh. I’m afraid I don’t have much more news for you about the drug you asked about. I called up HgrRX, which is located in Budapest, and asked if they had any drugs by the name you gave me, including any under license in another country.  They said they’d call me back, and I just heard from them a few minutes ago.  They said they have nothing on record by the name Emeenifed and never had.”         
David was not surprised to hear her answer.
        “That’s really very nice of you to go to all that trouble,” said David, who shook his head at Katie and whispered “No such drug,” then asked Ms. Singh if she knew anything about the Hungarian pharmaceutical company.
          “They are probably the largest in Eastern Europe outside of Germany and Russia. I don’t think they are much involved in research, more limited to standard drugs, and I can’t think of any trademark drugs they make that have a wide sale outside of Eastern Europe.”
         “Would you have any idea where I could find out more about the company?”
         “There are the usual directories, like the one I used,” she said, “but I think you might start with any library with a good business section or check the pharmaceutical journals.  As a matter of fact, there is one called the Journal of Pharmacy and the European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, though they contain mostly published peer-reviewed studies.”
         David realized where Katie and he would be spending the afternoon.
         Then Ms. Singh said, “Ah, it just occurred to me, Mr. Greco!  I had a professor in my college whose specialty was the history of the pharmaceutical industry in Europe. Would you like his name? I’m sure he’d be happy to speak with you.”
         David said that would be so helpful, copied down the man’s name—Dr. Kenneth Passamore—and phone number at King’s College. He thanked her profusely, hung up and told Katie what the woman had told him.
         “Maybe this Professor Passamore can save us from plowing through the library stacks,” said David.
         “Hey, I love plowing through library stacks,” said Katie, “but I admit this guy could give us a shortcut.  Shall I call him?”
        “Be my guest,” said David and handed her the phone.
         They were delighted that the professor answered the phone at his office, and Katie explained what she and David were after in the matter of HgrRX and if he knew anything about it. She didn’t mention Harold Neame, or Harry Lime.
         “Ah, yes, Hungarian Pharm,” he replied. “A very big and rather controversial company, I must say.”
         Katie was hoping she and David could meet Passamore rather than get the information over the telephone—she’d always prefer to interview a source in person, perhaps to put him in her story, and shied away from sources who refused to meet her somewhere.
        But before she could ask him, Passamore said, “Are you here in town? Any chance you could pop over to my office, say, about—what is it now? Ten-thirty? Oh, why don’t we say in about an hour?”
         Katie was delighted by the invitation and said they’d be over at 11:30 on the dot.
         The college was located south of the Thames, close to London Bridge in Southward, so Katie and David took the tube to London Bridge station, and, with the weather being brilliantly free of clouds, Katie and David had the time to walk across the Bridge and the few blocks to the college.
         As part of King’s College (left) the campus dated back to 1829, founded by King George IV (below).  On the way over Katie did a quick study from her London guidebook and found out that Kings College had had twelve Nobel Prize winners. She was also reminded that the poet John Keats had actually trained there to be a medical chemist and read that Florence Nightingale and Joseph Lister were illustrious graduates.
         “What exactly are we going to ask this guy?” said David while crossing the Bridge.
        “I guess whether he’s ever heard of Harold Neame and if he had any connection to Hungarian Pharm,” replied Katie.
         “So we’re going to tell him the whole story thus far?”
         Katie thought for a moment then said, “Let’s just start with what he knows of Hungarian Pharm’s history then see where we go.  I don’t think we should get into anything about Harry Lime and Philby.”
         “He’s going to want to know why in God’s name we’re interested in some pharmacy company in Budapest,” said David.
         “Well, I can’t lie and say we’re doing a story on the company. We’ll have to give him something about why we’re so interested.”
         “Okay,” said David, “let’s just see how it goes until he asks us why we want to know what we want to know.”
         “Fine with me,” she said. “If we do need to say more, you say it, okay?”
         “Wonder if he’s ever seen the movie The Third Man.”
         “Hard to imagine he hasn’t, especially since it’s about a guy selling bad penicillin in the British Sector of post-war Vienna.”
         Professor Passamore’s office was like a thousand others in academia: A box with a desk piled high with books and papers, two chairs and pictures and mementos hung on the walls along with Post-its of various sizes and colors.
         “Ah, the Yanks have landed,” he said, getting up from his chair and excusing himself to bring another into the cramped room. “We can stay here or go out to the common room, if you like.”
         Katie and David said the office was fine.
         Passamore was in his fifties, quite bald with wire-rimmed glasses, striped bow tie and a pale yellow tattersall shirt.  A doctor’s white coat was on a hangar in the corner.
         “So, tell me. You are interested in knowing about Hungary Pharm? May I ask the reason?”
         Katie said, “Well, as I said on the phone, I’m a journalist and I’m looking into certain connections that grew out of the drug trade after World War II.”
         “And why is Hungary Pharm part of this . . . investigation?” asked Passamore, assuming the tone of a professor overseeing a student seeking guidance.
         David knew he had to give Passamore some of the story thus far. He went on to explain, with as little detail as possible, that they were following a story about Harry Lime, who had been involved in the black market drug trade in Vienna after the war.
         Passamore leaned back in his chair and put his hands together.
         “And again—forgive me, but what has this to do with Hungary Pharm. Harry Lime was a fictional character in that Orson Welles movie, correct?”    
David further explained that they’d gotten a name of a real-life black marketeer of the time who may or may not have something to do with Hungary Pharm.
         Passamore nodded and said, “I see. And this man was an American?”
         “No, he was British and apparently got into the black market but escaped capture and his whereabouts are unknown.”
         “And the man’s name was?”
         “Harold Neame,” answered Katie.
         Passamore turned the name over in his head and repeated it a few times, then said, “The name doesn’t ring any kind of bell, but it may be of interest to know that Hungary Pharm’s owner—it’s not publicly traded—is rumored to be British but is known by a Hungarian name, Gorgo Toth.”
         “Well, that’s something,” said David. “Do you know anything about him?”
         “I know more about the company overall than about Toth, but what I do know about both is somewhat controversial within the industry. Hungary Pharm does not have the most reputable image, at least not in the Western world. In the East, in countries like Hungary, pharmaceutical companies must file papers that any drugs they sell outside of their country meet international standards as established by the World Health Organization.  But within their own country and others in the East, those standards are not so strict, and Hungary Pharm is a company that has been more than once accused of selling sub-standard products.  I did a little research while you were on your way over and found a few items that may be of interest to you.”



John Mariani, 2016



By Geoff Kalish


        Jordan Vineyard & Winery’s story is well known to aficionados. Thwarted in his efforts to purchase a château in France in the early 1970s, oil millionaire Tom Jordan and his wife Sally (above) built one in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley. They then hired a young energetic winemaker, Rob Davis, and a consultant, the legendary Andre Tchelistcheff, who had produced the highly acclaimed George de La Tour Cabernets of Beaulieu Vineyards, and purchased barrels from Château Lafite Rothschild.
        Since its first vintage in 1976 the iconic winery has continued to excite and please consumers with its only two wines, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. On a recent visit I had the opportunity to not only taste its new vintages but also meet with its second generation owner, John Jordan (left), who took over the reins in 2007. 
Of note, I found the 2021 Chardonnay akin to a good Meursault,  with toasty flavors and a crisp finish—a worthy mate for most seafare or even veal. The 2019 Cabernet was extremely elegant in the style of French Margaux reds, with flavors of ripe plums and cherries, perfect to accompany grilled lamb, pork or beef.  


You only make two wines. Any plans to expand the list and, if not, why not? Also, any thought to increasing production from what you currently produce?       

Since the 1970s, Jordan has remained dedicated to crafting one elegant Cabernet Sauvignon and one Chardonnay wine. We believe every vintage should be better than the last, and we spare no expense in that pursuit. There are no immediate plans to expand beyond our current wines, which allows winemaker Maggie Kruse and her team to focus on perfecting and evolving our two iconic varietals. Our limited production not only upholds the highest standards but also preserves the integrity of our estate and reflects our commitment to sustainable winemaking practices.


Your sister Judy Jordan sold her nearby winery (J) to Gallo a few years ago. Any thoughts of selling?        

We have no plans of selling Jordan Vineyard & Winery. Our commitment lies in upholding the legacy and rich history of our estate, and we are eagerly looking forward to the future.

You have a relatively new winemaker with Maggie Kruse (
below) after Rob Davis. Have you noticed any major changes since she started “making” the wine?   

Maggie joined the Jordan family in 2006 as enologist, so she is certainly no stranger to our winemaking process. Since Maggie officially assumed the role of head winemaker in 2019, after learning from Rob for over a decade, she has continued to uphold our commitment to constant evolution while honoring the estate’s esteemed history. At the helm, Maggie ensures that as a winery, we maintain our tradition of crafting a balanced, elegant Bordeaux-style Cabernet Sauvignon and Burgundy-style Chardonnay, with an emphasis on their food pairing affinity. While staying true to our core values, Maggie has also introduced her own sustainability methods and innovations, including the use of eight 476-gallon concrete egg fermenters to enhance the mouth-feel and preserve the delicate fruit flavors in upcoming Chardonnay vintages. She has also started to source from new Chardonnay blocks in accordance with warmer climates and has established new Merlot vineyard blocks to preserve Jordan’s most important blending grape.


Any thoughts of changing or modifying the “style” of one or both of your wines? 

Maggie and the winemaking team are always looking for ways to evolve and improve the current style of our wines, without completely changing its foundation and staying true to our core values. The highly anticipated 2019 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon that was released this year (Maggie’s inaugural cabernet vintage as head winemaker) delivers an extraordinary range of characteristics and unique expression that sets it apart from our previous vintages. Equally exciting is our 2021 Jordan Chardonnay, also released this year, which was made with the introduction of cooler-climate vineyard sites in the western Russian River Valley. By sourcing from cooler-climate vineyard sites, we can maintain our Burgundian-inspired Chardonnay that we are so well-known for.


It’s said that if a restaurant has Jordan Cabernet on its list, it is the most popular red wine sold at the establishment. Why do you think that is?       

Our cabernet is exceptionally versatile and has an incredible way of pairing with most cuisines, which contributes to its popularity as a coveted choice on several wine lists. Year after year, we are dedicated to delivering a quality red wine that oenophiles know they can count on.


Tell me about some of the programs onsite for visitors.

At Jordan, we offer guests a range of intimate wine pairing experiences set within our vast 1,200-acre estate. Our culinary team, led by Executive Chef Jesse Mallgren, crafts inventive, seasonal cuisine sourced straight from our winery garden that’s thoughtfully paired with every sip of Jordan wine. I recommend our premium tasting experiences, such as the Estate Tour & Tasting, where you can savor seasonal farm-to-table bites alongside standout Jordan vintages across our estate. For an unforgettable stay, our onsite Château Guest Suites provide an exclusive wine country retreat for Gold and Platinum members of our Jordan Estate Rewards program. At Jordan, we take great pleasure in providing an exceptional and immersive experience for our valued guests and look forward to welcoming visitors, both old and new.



“In a tiny Colombian beachfront town, a globally acclaimed chef was waxing poetic about a Schmear.”—Abbie Kozolchyk, “Savoring the Flavors of Caribbean Colombia,”   New York Times.




 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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