"Years ago Jessica put several of the wonderfully simple recipes now in this book to work in my own kitchen with beautiful results. She is a talented cook, writer, and documentarian. Cooking with Italian Grandmothers is an exquisite, heartfelt anthology that is an important reference for us all."
"In the kitchen with these wise women, Jessica observes much more than how to make the perfect osso buco and torta di mele. She sees what makes Italians Italian, and conveys the beauty and idiosyncracies of this culture with such insight that it carries us right to the heart of Italy. Cooking with Italian Grandmothers is an essential read for anyone hoping to understand the role of food in nurturing, or simply wanting to cook up some delicious traditional Italian home food."
"In preparation for my second ever trip to Italy, I was eager to absorb the stories and picturesque details of Cooking with Italian Grandmothers. The chapter about Bruna brought me back to thoughts of driving through the country side, the welcoming people, and the amazing yet simple foods. More reading found me inspired to try Bruna's Coniglio in Bianco (white wine-braised rabbit). As much as I love a good rabbit dish, I had yet to cook one myself until now. Totally lovely and easy to prepare, this rabbit dish worked beautifully with Maria's Cauliflower in Ricotta al Forno. I can not wait to try our more dishes and read the full stories of each grandmother. A true experience - I wish I had been there. I LOVE THIS BOOK."
"Jessica's elegantly crafted personal portraits present these recipes as artifacts of individual lives lived in rhythm with landscape, season and in harmony with tradition. The whole of this work transcends the expected."
"This book is a joy to read, and awakens the appetite with its clear and simple recipes. I'm delighted that the author is a graduate of our Chef's Training Program at the NGI - she deserves all the success coming her way."
"Grandmotherly cooking summons up images that virtually define comfort food. Grandmothers across Italy invited Theroux into their kitchens, allowing her to record a smart selection of unique and utterly appealing dishes that will leave readers of all ethnicities yearning for an Italian grandmother in the family lineage. Without traveling to Italy, cooks can turn to recipes for some extraordinary dishes such as Milanese involtini, thinly sliced steak nestling a stuffing of pork, chicken, beef, and cheese slowly braised in the simplest of tomato sauces. To accompany this, nothing could surpass the elegance of a layered creation of mashed potatoes, prosciutto, and cheeses bound together with eggs. Desserts range from cornmeal cookies through a showstopping hazelnut pastry. Instructions are clear, but experienced cooks may realize that some recipes can be simplified by using a food processor. Those obsessed with authenticity will relish Theroux's detailed instructions for brewing one's own walnut liqueur, a two-year endeavor."
"This book will not allow one to rush. It demands that you savor it slowly, one page, one recipe, one photograph at a time, with pauses for absorbing what you have seen...And the recipes she picked up along the way? Oh, my, my. Working my way through them will be the next best thing to spending a year in Italy myself!"
Cooking With Italian Grandmothers: Recipes and Stories from Tuscany to Sicily comes from an American chef who spent a year traveling throughout Italy cooking and talking with Italian grandmothers, learning their secrets and stories. The result is a fine blend of history and recipes of twelve selected grandmothers who welcomed Theroux into their kitchens and shared their favorite dishes. From Roasted Leeks with Eggs and Olives to Broccoli and Pine Nut Pasta, this is packed with flavor and insights."
"I just watched her (Jessica's) documentary and loved it — such a beautiful evocation of what it means to take good things from the land in the purest way and prepare them and cook them in the most natural and healthy way. The woman who took us through the process was wonderful, and it was great to have the closeups of her and of all the little steps she took, from harvesting to cleaning, to making a fire, to cooking. Watching all that can only make people think seriously about how they're eating, how they're living, and how attractive is the old-fashioned, simple way of life. Made you think also of the importance of saving the small farms which have been threatened with extinction, and of how we can do that even in this post-modern world."