Media Contact: Andy Reynolds (

National and Online

The Almanac Online December 2011, Holiday Books: Chefs' Favorites and one-dish meals inspire holiday cooking ideas, 25 Days of Gift Ideas from & for Boston Chefs, Tim Cushman of Oya recommends Off the Menu

Culinate - February 2012
book review and featured recipe

ForeWord Reviews - Sep/Oct 2011,
GQ - September 2011
book coverage, recipe: Margarita Carmona's Chili Verde

The Kitchn - January 2012, Best of 2011

LA Weekly's Squid Ink - November 8, 2011, New Gift-Worthy Cookbooks Take You From Urban Farming to Restaurant Staff Meals

Library Journal Books Review - December 2011 book review

Opelika Aburn News, Ch. 2, Alabama - December 2011, Jim Sike's: Words for Christmas, for the foodie in your life

Palo Alto Online - December 2011, Chefs favorites and one-dish meals inspire holiday cooking ideas

Powell's Books - December 2011, Holiday Catalog

Read It and Eat - March 12, 2012, book review December 2011, Grid of Gifts

Tasting Table, National: October 14, 2011, book review

Tattered Cover Book Blog, Between the Covers December 2011, This Book will make Foodies Swoon

USA Network, Character Approved Blog - December 2011, Top 10 of 2011 in Food

Regional and Online

Austin Chronicle - December 9, 2011, Mrs. Santa's Book Bag, The Best Cookbook Gift Ideas for 2011

Baltimore Sun - January 4, 2011, Feature in the food and dining section

Bay Area News, San Jose Mercury News - December 2011, Food & Wine Section, Cookbooks and Books for your Favorite Foodie

Chicago Tribune - January 4, 2011, feature article

Erickson Tribune - February 2012, "Let's Get Cookin'," book and recipe coverage

Napa Valley Register - December 12, 2011, Yuletide Treats, Holiday Cookbook Round Up

Nashua Telegraph: January 4, Rachel Ellner selects 10 notable cookbooks for 2011, A Mix of Flavors

New York Daily News - September 17, 2011, book and recipe coverage

Portland Book Review - April 3, 2012, book review

Portland (Oregon) Mercury - December 2011, A Cookbook for Everyone on your Gift List

Random House (Holiday Gift Guide): 2011 Grid of Gifts, Cookbooks

San Francisco Chronicle - December 2011, The Portland Mercury Holiday Wish List

Santa Rosa Press Democrat and Bite Club Eats - December 2011, Give the Gift of Cookbooks, Recipes

Tasting Table (National Edition, Cooking) - October 14, 2011, "Family Rules: Eat like you're on staff"

Time Out New York, Food & Drink - October, Wednesday 19, 26 issue, book coverage

The Washington Post - October 11, 2011 book coverage


Chicago Public Radio - November 2, 2011 - interview with Alison Cuddy on Eight Forty-Eight
Great Taste with Steve Boss - October 12, 2011, Interview


"For Marissa Guggiana, destination trumps any issues of distance if it means camaraderie and good food. In researching Off The Menu, she visited fifty-one of the nation's best restaurants, sharing staff meals with the owners, chefs, waiters, and bussers. Her inventive book presents one hundred recipes for those dishes, grouped by restaurant—Seattle's Lark, Aquavit, in Manhattan, and Bluestem, in Kansas City, among them. Clearly, this is more than just another cookbook.

Guggiana's introduction to each section conveys the quality of the experience and the character of the places and people she met. This is enhanced by profiles of owners and chefs, revealed through the classic Escoffier Questionnaire, a series of queries regarding favorite foods, kitchen equipment, ingredient sources, etc. Who knew that so many leading tastemakers would choose a cheeseburger over foie gras? As with all enticing cookbooks, there are sumptuous photographs of food. But the lens here is also trained on "families" of workers sharing an amazing meal either before or after the dinner service. These behind-the scenes additions make this book entertaining for even wannabe cooks.

Of the recipes that form the heart of the book, Guggiana hopes that they will encourage her audience "not to cook longer, but to cook smarter," to try the recipes, and to adopt this mantra: local, organic, fresh, and seasonal. Unless you're Mario Batali, none are menus to throw together before running off to a child's ball practice; but the novice with a grasp of techniques and vocabulary will find dishes to try immediately (buttermilk fried chicken, meatloaf, oatmeal cookies) and ones to grow with (wild boar ragout or Banh Mi sandwiches). Those who know their way around the kitchen intimately will relish the rediscovery of "down home meals," whether home is New Orleans or New Delhi. Each recipe is preceded by a brief introduction that reveals Guggiana's personal connection to the dish, hints at what makes this dish extraordinary, and occasionally gives advice: What is a good substitute if wild boar is unavailable?

As a third generation butcher, author of Primal Cuts: Cooking with America's Best Butchers, and president of Sonoma Direct, a purveyor of sustainably raised meat, Guggiana knows great food. She likens eating in a great restaurant to a museum-going experience, saying it "...seeds inspiration and shifts in perspective." Her enthusiasm spills onto each page with prose as evocative as freshly picked basil."
— Geraldine Richards, ForeWord Magazine, Sept/October 2011

"Marissa Guggiana takes the question, "What's for dinner?" to America's best restaurants. In a fresh, entertaining twist, she doesn't offer the restaurant's specialities. This is a treasure trove of creative recipes for staff meals, complete with mouthwatering food photos, casual snapshots of the back-of-the-house and interviews with the chefs. For all of us who'd love to peek into restaruant kitchens and make off with their tricks and best recipes, OFF THE MENU is perfection."
— Beth Goehring, Editor-in-Chief, The Good Cook Book Club