In a sentimental introduction to this solid cookbook, Guarnaschelli, executive chef at Butter Restaurant in New York City and a familiar face from the Food Network, lists the cookbooks that constituted her mother’s reference section. That list includes The Silver Palate Cookbook, which this book certainly emulates in the way that it sits squarely at the crossroads of the need to get food on the table and the desire to make meals as enjoyable as they are reliable. Rather than the standard breakdown by courses, chapters here are theme based: there’s one on sauces and dressings that contains nine different vinaigrettes and another titled “Supermarket Mushrooms Made Sexy.” A chapter on Italian-American classics (a logical inclusion for someone who identifies as “the daughter of two Italian Americans”) includes eggplant parmigiana, but the chapter on Italian-American cookies confounds somewhat with oatmeal cookies that incorporate quinoa and fairly standard brownies and chocolate-chip cookies. While the recipes here are not particularly innovative, a Caesar salad with black-pepper steak and a hearty bowl of brisket soup with dumplings certainly appeal. The instructions are clearly conveyed, and Guarnaschelli nicely chronicles the changes in a shifting culinary landscape. (Sept.)"Alex is an extraordinary cook, whether in her restaurant or at home cooking for her daughter. You'll find gems to return to again and again in this wonderful new collection of recipes."
—Giada De Laurentiis
"Alex is a one-of-a-kind cook, seamlessly weaving her expert cooking tips into one dream sequence of recipes that you absolutely must have."
"It's a quirky, comforting collection that aspires to be a Silver Palate for a new age, the kind of reliable resource you'd turn to again and again."
"Unlike many cookbooks by star chefs, Guarnaschelli's book is extremely approachable. The recipes don't have a long laundry list of ingredients, and the directions are clear and detailed."
Celebrity chef Guarnaschelli (Old-School Comfort Food), a recurring judge on Food Network's Chopped, shares her go-to favorites for everyday cooking, from a one-pot veal osso buco to an effortless apple tart. Here, 300 recipes—mostly Italian and American comfort foods, along with a handful of French and Asian dishes—cover wide-ranging categories, including snacks, sauces, fruit condiments, and cocktails. Simple indulgences such as warm bar nuts, black pepper steak and caesar salad, and dark chocolate muffins will tempt many readers, especially during colder months. VERDICT A standout collection of elegant, timeless foods. Even the simplest recipes taste superb.