Virtual Gourmet

  July 30,  2023                                                                                            NEWSLETTER

Founded in 1996 


"Turban Squashes" (1959) by Hyman Bloom



Part One

By John Mariani


By John Mariani

By John Mariani


By John Mariani



Part One

                                                                            By John Mariani

The Terrace

         Since my last visit to Williamsburg, Virginia, five years ago, there have been the usual openings, closings and revamping of restaurants in town, especially in Colonial Williamsburg, which rightfully is called America’s largest “living museum” (301 acres) and a long-time fixture on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
        Built on the original foundations of the 1699 settlement, what now exists is either a restoration or recreation, and, historic attention has been applied to many of the dining taverns on the property, much of whose provender comes from on-premises gardens that surround them.
        Among these are Chowning’s Tavern (temporarily closed), Christiana Campbell’s Tavern (open Tues.-Sat. for dinner), where you may sample cod in the Dutch manner ($15); seafood “pye” ($49); and a recipe for fried fish from Thomas Jefferson’s personal cookbook ($36).  Shields Tavern is an events space. 
King’s Arms Tavern (lunch daily,  dinner Thurs.-Mon.) was originally opened by Jane Volbe in 1772, and its restoration is highly detailed in colonial fabrics, furniture and pewter (left). I had a wonderful meal at King’s Arms, while chatting with chefs Ivey Boyd and Naomi Jarmond, that began with a superb, creamy seafood chowder ($8 or $12) and hearty Brunswick stew ($8 or $12), a very old dish made with fowl, beef, corn and lima beans.
        Welsh rarebit ($9), once a staple of American menus, is now rare indeed, but the version at King’s Tavern makes you wonder why: It is what used to be called a “savoury,” made with melted cheddar cheese, mustard and wine, served with country ham and moist cornbread.  A twist on old-fashioned corn pudding was mixed with tender Carolina rice, black-eyed peas and country ham ($13). The Virginia pork BBQ ($21) is very true to form in these parts, slowly smoked over applewood and served with coleslaw and wheaten manchet breads, a flat loaf that dates to the Middle Ages. 
The desserts ($8) are every bit as good and, in their modern presentations, quite beautiful and big enough to be shared, including Jefferson bread pudding with bourbon custard sauce and southern pecan pie that is not so achingly sweet as some versions and much nuttier in flavor. You may also want to try the house punch ($14) made with rum, ginger bitters and ginger ale.
         You’ll find culinary references at most of Colonial Williamsburg’s dining facilities, but the non-tavern restaurants are more contemporary in their menus. Upon arrival I was famished and, fortunately, Traditions in the Williamsburg Lodge was serving an extensive brunch ($39.95, $18 for children) that ranged from scrambled eggs and both cold and hot smoked salmon to carved roast beef with mashed potatoes.
        I was so happy to find southern biscuits with a rich cream gravy, which no one ever gets right in the north, and they went very well with some very crisp, very moist fried chicken. With a well-spiked bloody Mary (or was it two?) the meal fortified me for a memory lane walk around the property, where I spotted new additions like the windmill.
         I checked into the splendid Williamsburg Inn, its gracious lobby festooned with pink roses and overlooking the golf course. Check-in took some minutes more than anticipated,but my room was quite beautiful and had a view of the drive-in lane and the period buildings beyond. The room’s furnishings were very much in a period style that Colonial Williamsburg made famous from its inception in the 1930s—some furniture and fabrics familiar to me since childhood, when my mother decorated our house with them.
         After a relaxing treatment in the beautiful new spa, I dressed and went to dinner at The Terrace (breakfast, lunch and dinner daily), set within the Inn. There is a fairly lively room off the bar lounge with a more staid adjacent room with French windows, fine wallpaper and elegant settings. 
There I sipped a cocktail while enjoying a huge summer chopped salad made with cucumber, quinoa, heirloom tomatoes, feta, arugula, corn and a basil buttermilk dressing with a semolina tuile ($16). The only reason I didn’t finish every bite was because I needed the appetite for  a main course of juniper-and-ginger-scented rabbit ($34), again a very large portion, served over a hill of beet-colored pappardelle and a citrus carrot puree with snow peas and marinated blackberries. 
For dessert the s’mores ($14) were a sumptuous improvement on the old campfire favorite, done with chocolate bavarois, Graham cracker streusel, marshmallow fluff and cayenne-flecked Caramel shard with cacao nibs and aerated chocolate.





78 Leonard Street

By  John Mariani


         By and large most Indian restaurants in America toe a line first established in England, where curry houses developed many standard dishes like mulligatawny soup, lamb vindaloo and rogan josh, which were then copied everywhere else in the West. Most were variations on dishes from Mughal traditions dominant in northeastern India. That culinary heritage persists in the U.S., though in New York more regional dishes have found their way onto the menus of modern Indian restaurants.
       Certainly one of the most innovative is the four-month-old Goa New York in Tribeca, on the premises of a failed $15 million Japanese restaurant spread over two floors, with thirty-foot ceilings. Goa’s owner, Hemant Bhagwani, inherited a dramatic space and has added his own kind of dazzle in light and shadow, including a beautiful “Tree of Life” made of white birch, amaranth and silk set in the dining room’s center, and a churning origami-like ceiling sculpture called “The Dance of the Peacocks” by Ankon Mitra.
        The second floor is reached by a gangway. The dominant wall, ceiling and table colors are dark, so the black outfits on the waitstaff could use some brightening to add contrast.
         For reasons that escape me Goa  New York is suffused with loud music, little of the kind of sinuous Indian music that would have an evocative effect.  Booming disco and techno are not what most people associate with India,  or want to hear at this high decibel level.
Bhagwani (below), who helms the Amaya Group of Restaurants, has wide international experience, settling in Toronto in  2000, bringing innovative Indian cuisine to the city with 57 restaurants. including Goa Indian Farm Kitchen, Popa Burmese, Amaya Express, Bombay Frankie and others, but Goa New York is his first U.S. project.
         Goa takes its name from the territory on the Arabian Sea colonized by the Dutch, who brought chili peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, and vinegar soon matched with the ingredients in the Goan kitchen. The sour, acidic addition of vinegar alone gave Goan food a special spark and flavor distinct from Mughal, Gujarat, Punjabi, Bengali and other cuisines.
         This summer they’re serving Goan-style slaw ($19), a salad with 16 ingredients, green chili, salted starfruit and alu bukhara (dried plum) dressing that is a very spicy dish indeed but absolutely wonderful and a good perk to the appetite. Goan prawn curry ($39) has nice fat crustaceans in a fiery garlic and ginger marinade that are then simmered slowly with okra, coconut, kokum and dried mango. Tiger shrimps balchao ($19) is infused with a spicy, vinegary tomato and chili tamarind sauce that has a real tang, red radish, chili oil, and it comes on Japanese milk bread toast.
         There is a section of bao and pao dishes, and one of the best is the unusual leg of lamb bao ($19) with roast mango, red cabbage and sriacha aïoli stuffed into a puffy bao bun. For a fried dish, go for the Mumbai-style rava fish fry ($21) served with pickled red cabbage, green chili chutney and coated with sooji (granulated wheat) that provides layers of textures and flavors.
         A robata grill is put to excellent use in dishes like the lamb chops ($42) that have become a staple in all of Bhagwani’s restaurants for good reason: The chops are grilled over charcoal, seared and still pink, suffused with a mint fenugreek sauce and crisp chickpea boondi. Beef short ribs ($29) come in a hot vindaloo style with truffled yogurt and cashew nuts.
         Fried rice ($23) is flecked with chorizo, shrimp and eggs slowly cooked to absorb all the fat and spices.

Of course, there are those marvelous Indian breads that would vie for any others in the world. We loved both the naan slathered with garlic butter ($6) and the out-of-the-ordinary red chili naan with garlic and coriander ($7).
         Desserts at Indian restaurants are often by rote, but at Goa  New York you are offered much more, like the pastel de nata with tokaji sweet wine ($19) that is a Portuguese dessert, and the hot, crisp, sugared jalebi churros with sherry wine and pistachio kulfi ($10).
         The wine and beer lists are above average for any Indian restaurant.
         In every dish Goa New York shows Indian cuisine as refined, very colorful and never an amalgam of the same dishes everywhere else. As a dining venue Goa goes well beyond any I’ve ever seen and for Bhagwani to bring such regional verve and innovation to New York sets a precedent others must assuredly follow.


Dinner is served Tuesday through Sunday .



By  John Mariani

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




      Now,  thought Katie, how much to tell Mr. Boyer and Mr. Spollen? Out of professional courtesy they would probably give her whatever information they had, hoping it would keep them in good stead with McClure’s, which paid better than their newspapers. But, as journalists, they would be more than a little curious as to what tree Katie was barking up. Would it be something they should follow up on?
         Katie knew she couldn’t tell them anything that was not the God’s honest truth, but she didn’t have to tell them everything.  Gorgo Toth seemed outside of her inquiry about Philby, but the Brits would want to know the reason for her asking whether any of their papers’ writers had ever gone to Moscow in search of Philby. She could fudge things by simply saying she and David had heard, while they were in Moscow, that other journalists had tried to find out if Philby were still alive or maybe just to nose around Philby’s posthumous affairs, perhaps get his wife to reveal something new about the man. Beyond that, Katie would have to wait and see what her colleagues would try to drag out of her.
         She got Christopher Boyer on the phone first. He reminded Katie he’d briefly met her in New York at a McClure’s office party a few years back. Katie feigned remembering and said, “So, Christopher”—she didn’t know if he went by Chris—“I’m working on a story I hope you can help me with.”
         “Maybe so,” he replied, “though I’ll probably be pissed wondering why Alan didn’t assign it to me.”
         “Oh, it’s not a London story,” she said quickly. She then went on to explain how she was looking for Harry Lime and, noting that she wasn’t the first to make the connection to Kim Philby, she said she had been to Moscow to find what they could about the man.”
         “But Philby’s been dead, for what, ten years?”
         “Well, that’s part of my story,” she said, then cut him off with, “How about lunch tomorrow?”
         “On Alan, I trust?”
         “Of course. Wherever you’d like to eat.”
         Boyer did not hesitate. “Wilton’s on Jermyn Street, off Piccadilly. One o’clock. I’ll make the reservation. For the two of us?”
         “Actually three. I’m here with a friend and colleague named David Greco.”
         “Three then. Under my name. Oh, are you speaking with any other newspaper people over here?”
         Katie was not embarrassed to say she was about to call Thomas Spollen. “Do you know him?”
         “Oh, Tom and I go back a long ways. He used to work for the Times. How about I invite him along for lunch tomorrow?”
         Katie happily said that would be fine, interview two birds over one meal. “Done deal,” she said. “See you at one.”

                           *                         *                    *


         Wilton’s was one of the oldest restaurants in London, dating back to 1742, when George II was king of England. Known for its traditional French-influenced British fare—oysters, potted shrimp, game in season, a carving trolley and desserts like bread and butter pudding—the dining rooms had worn far better than some of the city’s historic restaurants. Etched glass, equestrian prints, carving trolleys and Edwardian décor gave it a timeless look, even though it had been at its Jermyn Street address only since 1984, immediately identifiable by its lighted sign of a top-hat wearing prawn with a cocktail in his claw. It was the kind of restaurant London journalists felt quite at home in—if someone else were paying—but one where David Greco  thought he’d feel out of place.
         “Place looks like something out of a Rex Harrison movie,” he whispered to Katie as they entered. He was wearing his worn blazer and had stuck a crumpled necktie in its pocket if needed.
         “What’s wrong with that once in a while?” asked Katie, who earlier that day had purchased a proper British tweed hacking jacket at DAKS, right on Jermyn Street. David had spent the time looking in the windows of the shoe stores and bespoke tailor shops without prices on the clothing.  As much as he loved being with Katie, shopping with a woman was not among his favorite activities.
         They announced to the proper but amiable maître d’ they were in the Boyer party, were acknowledged as such and shown to a fine, linen-draped alcove table in a dining room off the bar. Around them were arrayed the kind of Europeans said to be “of a certain age,” both men and women who seemed to have little more to do that day than spend most of it at Wilton’s. 
Boyer and Spollen arrived together, both dressed in dark suits, without a necktie—which relieved David—and brown shoes, not quite a uniform but hinting at a kind of adapted newsman look that wore well for lunch and into dinner. Boyer was tall and David would not have been surprised to find he’d once played rugby. Spollen was slight, his red hair tousled and re-tousled throughout the meal. To David they both spoke with the same accent, but Katie picked up the sound of a higher class in the way Spollen spoke, while Boyer dropped the last letters of many words in his short sentences.
         David was already feeling miserable, believing he couldn’t possibly lend anything to the conversation, which was sure to be newspaper business bullshit.
         Most of it was. At least through the main course and two bottles of wine. Boyer had asked Katie how high could they go in price on the wine before Dobell threw a fit. “Let’s try to keep it under fifty pounds a bottle,” she said. 
Over Colchester oysters, smoked eel and Devonshire crab they spoke of Alan Dobell and McClure’s. Over the grilled Dover sole, roast pheasant and a mixed grill of beef, lamb, kidney and black pudding they gossiped about London media and Bill Clinton’s sex life. Finally, Boyer said, “Well, I suppose we need to speak about whatever it is you want to speak about, Katie. How can we help?”
         David remained silent, pouring himself the last of the wine.  Katie began her story, how they’d been on the trail of Harry Lime and the possible connection to Kim Philby.  She glanced at David and said softly, “Now what I’m about to tell you two gentleman is confidential. O.K.? Off the record?”
         Boyer and Spollen chimed, “Of course, of course.”
         The dessert arrived, and coffee brought. Katie told them as briefly as possible about their meetings with Southey and Lentov and how they went to Moscow to meet the man Lentov said was a dying Philby.  She told them about their meeting with the Russians in Moscow and the MI6 officials at Heathrow. Then she said nothing, waiting for it to sink in with the Brits.
         “Good God, Katie, that is quite the story,” said Spollen, smiling broadly. “I can’t believe Philby is still alive and you spoke to him.”
         “And you’re sure the people you spoke to were the Philbys?” asked Boyer. “Could they have been actors?”
         David spoke up. “They were definitely the Philbys. I used to interrogate people for a living and these were not actors.”
         “And so what is it you think we might know about all this?” asked Boyer.
         Katie had not said anything about Harold Neame and Gorgo Toth, though she felt she might have to.
         “Well, in order to dispel or refute what the Russians and MI6 told us,” she said, “we’ve got to find out if there ever have been any journalists who ever went to Moscow on assignment in order to find Philby. Has either of your papers ever assigned anyone like that?”
         Both the men had been on the international desk for quite some time and Katie could see they were wracking their memory for any possibility of such a scenario.
         Boyer said, “I don’t know about the Guardian, Tom, but nothing like that has ever been assigned at the Times that I know of.  I certainly would have heard about it and it would have had to be approved by my desk.”
         Spollen was silent for a moment, then said, “I don’t recall anyone ever getting such an assignment. But something in the back of my mind rings a faint bell that there was a freelancer who proposed such a venture, perhaps nine or ten years back. He didn’t get the assignment from us, so I have no idea if he ever went on his own.”
         “Do you remember his name?” asked David, taking out his pen.
         Spollen searched his memory, then said, “I seem to recall his name was . . . Pogue, yes, Jonathan Pogue. He’d written a few Sunday Magazine stories for us.”
         “But you don’t know if he ever went to Moscow on his own?” asked Katie.
         “Not that I heard.  Certainly no story ever appeared.”
         Boyer then said, “Ah, I remember that fellow Pogue. Young and impetuous, always seemed to be following some fantastic lead that never had enough behind it to garner an assignment. Not sure he ever wrote for us.”
         “Do you know where we might find him?” asked Katie.
         “Easy enough to find out,” said Spollen, taking out his cell phone and dialing the desk at the Times.  “Hello, Ruth, Spollen here.  Can you look up the name of a freelancer for me? Name of Jonathan Pogue. Wrote a few pieces for us a while back. Thanks so much.  Call me back, will you?”
         Both the Brits sensed there was something more behind Katie and David’s escapade to Moscow, something that had more to do with Harry Lime than Kim Philby. Katie could see it in their demeanor and knew they wanted professional courtesy to shift to their side of the table.
         “Can we ask what Philby told you when you saw him?” said Boyer. “Did the bastard seem repentant? Happy to be living it up in those Moscow nights? And did he say anything about Lime?”
         Katie spoke in a measured way. “He certainly didn’t seem content with how things were ending for him, which included his premature burial in the Moscow cemetery. He did seem very concerned—and his wife said so, too—to let the world know that he was not the monster the world thought he was. And he said very clearly that he was on the verge of dying soon. I think he somehow believed we might tell his side of the story, or his version of it.”
         “And about Lime?”
         “He absolutely denied it and seemed frustrated anyone would ever make such a connection.”
         Boyer was squinting slightly, asking, “So he never suggested who Harry Lime might have been? Or, should I say, whomever it was Greene based him on?”
         David looked at Katie as if to say, this really is your project and your people so do what you have to do.
         “I’m sorry, guys,” she said, “that’s a part of my story I’m still trying to figure out. I will say that Philby made a suggestion as to who he thought it might have been.”
         “Another double agent?” asked Spollen.
         “I don’t think so. I don’t think he had anything to do with MI6 after the war. And besides, David and I have nothing definite on his whereabouts.”
         David spoke up, saying, “I checked all the official files both in the U.S. and here in the archives and they all say he either escaped or was killed or just faded away.”
         Now Boyer was looking very serious. “I completely understand, Katie, but if you want us to check our newspaper files on the name, I’m happy to do it, if you tell me the name, that is.”
         Katie replied, “That’s very generous of you, Christopher, but I did check the newspaper files yesterday while I was looking for any Philby stories your papers might have done in the last five to ten years.”
         “Yes, well, we have deeper files than what you might have seen. Let me see what I can find out. If you give me the name.”
     Katie looked at David, who shrugged.
         “Still off the record?” asked Katie.  Both the Brits crossed their hearts like little boys. “Okay, the name Philby gave us was Neame, Harold Neame.”
         “Well, it doesn’t ring any bells with me,” said Spollen, “but we’ll have a look.”
        Spollen’s phone went off.
         “Ruth? Find anything? Uh-huh. Right. Ten years ago. Right, right. Okay, thanks so much.”
         The three others looked wide-eyed at Spollen.
         “Well, my secretary looked him up and had a phone number and address, but there was a note attached saying that Mr. Pogue died about ten years ago.  Odd, he was quite young, as I recall, about twenty-eight or so at the time.”
         “Did your secretary say how or where?”
         “No, just that the paper only found out he’d died after we tried to contact him for a possible assignment. Ruth tried to find an obit for him, but nothing turned up.”
         “Well,” said Spollen, “We’ve got deadlines—at least I have—so we shall leave you to pay the check on Alan’s behalf and speak to you later this afternoon if we find anything out, all right?”
         Katie thanked the two men profusely—reminding them this was all off the record—while David felt relieved they were leaving.  Katie paid the bill, which was more than any she’d ever paid on assignment, chalking it up to the strength of the pound Sterling. The two Americans were very graciously shown out onto Jermyn Street to catch a cab back to their hotel.
        “They will keep—what do they say over here?—mum about all we told them?” asked David.        “Absolutely,” said Katie. “If you swore another cop to secrecy, wouldn’t he keep it to himself?”        
          “Probably not.”

John Mariani, 2016




 By John Mariani



The release of wines, which once occurred in fall and spring, is now due to myriad factors that have to do with their aging, their seasonal interest (like rosés) and the ebb and flow of supply in the market. Here are some very good ones I’ve discovered recently.


DOMAINE MONTROSE SALAMANDRE 2019 ($24). Despite the fact that Bernard and Olivier Coste make only 8,000 of Salamandre, it is remarkably low priced. Its appellation is Côtes de Thongue in the South of France, and is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Syrah, vinified separately then blended at the end of winter before aging for 18 months in barrel. The Syrah adds measurably to the fruitiness of the wine while the Cabernet provides tannic structure, so this is a fine red wine for beef, lamb or pork.


CHÂTEAU DES ADOUZES FAUGÈRES PINOT NOIR 2019   ($13). The château is located in the village of Roquessels with the Faugères AOP, where wines are made from Carignan and Grenache, to which the chateau adds 30% Syrah. These are the kind of provincial French wines we’re seeing more of in the U.S. market after years when loftier châteaux boosted their prices without distinctive quality. This bottling has nuance, a peppery touch and excellent fruit, ideal for simple cookery, stews, beans and burgers.


ABADIA RETUERTA SELLECIÓN ESPECIAL 2017 ($40). Composed of 77% Tempranillo, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Syrah, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Garnacha, Selección Especial is the first wine from this prestigious Spanish vintner in which the best wines of the vintage are selected and blended together from  54 distinct plots. Abadia’s vineyards largely avoided 2017’s frost problem in the Duero region, and its modern technology allowed enologist Angel Anocíbar Beloqui to produce a beautiful, elegant red that is ready to drink right now, with plenty of texture and layers of flavor.


OLIVIER COSTE CARIGNAN BLANC 2022 ($23). You almost never see a 100% white Carignan, which is a red grape from the Languédoc, so you may call it an oddity or a real find. Generally Carignan is a sturdy varietal, so even as a white wine it had minerality and floral bouquet, so it makes a lovely aperitif as well as a simple accompaniment to simple seafood.


SMALL VINES TBH VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2018  ($55). Organic vineyards are the basis for this estate, planted in 2009,  that enjoys coastal cooling from Sebastopol’s winds in Sonoma. The wine is barrel fermented and unfined, giving it an early but not overpowering flavor of the oak. The alcohol is 13.6%, and this is to be enjoyed with shellfish, both raw and cooked, as well as with mild cheeses.




MOUNT VEEDER WINERY CHARDONNAY 2021 ($50). Los Carneros is said to be one of the best terroirs for Chardonnay, and this bottling, from Giovannoni Ranch, shows why in its fine structure and layers of flavors with good acid. Yields were lower that year but the juice more intense, and the wine is 14.5% alcohol, so you must like that kind of boldness in your Chardonnay. It goes especially well with oily fishes like blues and sardines.


CONDE VALDEMAR CRIANZA 2018 ($20). Another good buy for a very good Spanish wine made with 89% Tempranillo, 7% Mazuelo and 4% Graciano grapes from Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Alta that would rank with much more expensive red wines. They are easy enough to drink in warm weather but are every bit as delicious with roast meats later in the year and Ideal for an array of tapas.






"Who  Wants to Die on Vacation?" by Molly Osberg, New York Magazine (June 2023).




 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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