Books + Reading Lists
Celebrity chef David Rocco has a full plate these days. The host of The Cooking Channel's travel-food show David Rocco's Dolce Vita has just wrapped shooting on his next series for that network, David Rocco's Amalfi Getaway, which will air in March. He'll be joining Bobby Flay and other culinary grandees at the Chef's Challenge charity event November 26-27 in Toronto to support women's cancer research. He's a passionate spokesman for Ruffino wines, and tours the country on their behalf. He and his wife had their third child in October (a baby boy named Dante). And simply to fill all the empty hours in his day, he's written his second cookbook, Made in Italy, just out from Clarkson Potter. I sat down with Rocco over lunch in Midtown Manhattan last week and asked him about his new book.
Four fall releases on our reading list.
If You’re ... a City-Dwelling Nature Lover
Read ... High Line: The Inside Story of New York City’s Park in the Sky by Joshua David and Robert Hammond (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; $29.95)
Because ... This account by the founders of the nonprofit responsible for the groundbreaking reclamation project chronicles the struggles and successes that led to the realization of what was deemed a far-fetched dream—and resulted in a new Manhattan landmark.
If You’re ... a Gastronaut
Read ... The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food by Adam Gopnik (Alfred A. Knopf; $25.95)
Because ... Gopnik takes a philosophical approach to food on his quest to understand our gastronomic obsessions. From tracing the origins of the restaurant as we know it back to mid-19th-century France to describing revolutionary approaches to culinary arts at Spain’s recently shuttered El Bulli, no dish is left unscraped in this witty treatise.
If You’re ... a Treasure Hunter
Read ... The Grand Bazaar Istanbul by Serdar Gülgün (Assouline; $250)
Because ... You’ll lose yourself in the sumptuous pages of this glossy tome, which spotlights can’t-miss boutiques at one of the world’s liveliest markets.
If You’re ... a Fiction Fiend
Read ... Noon by Aatish Taseer (Faber & Faber; $25)
Because ... Given his unique pedigree—raised in Delhi by an Indian mother and estranged from his father, a Pakistani political figure assassinated earlier this year—Taseer’s novel offers an insider’s perspective on the realities of high-society India and Pakistan.
Photo by Lars Klove
you’re sentenced to the middle seat on an airplane, are you entitled to both
armrests? For this answer (along with answers to a range of etiquette
quandaries) consider Emily
Post’s Etiquette, 18th Edition, by Peggy Post, Anna Post,
Lizzie Post, and Daniel Post Senning. In this revamped 736-page volume, which is
on-sale today, the authority on American manners tackles a range of issues—from tweeting and texting to online dating and adventure traveling.
Long after the meal is eaten, the china remains. Dish: 813 Colorful, Wonderful Dinner Plates (Artisan Books; $35) by Shax Riegler, a former Travel + Leisure editor, is a revealing portfolio of porcelain spanning centuries and continents.
What happened when the quintessentially Parisian photographer Brassaï turned his lens on New York and New Orleans? Brassaï in America 1957 (Flammarion; $49.95), an album of 150 photos (some unpublished) that shows the beauty and eccentricities of these cities—and the spell they continue to cast.
The colorful, annotated paintings collected in Paula Scher MAPS (Princeton Architectural Press; $50) offer a world informed by the graphic designer’s poignant and incisive commentary.
With more than 3,000 paintings from the 13th to the 19th century, the Louvre’s collection of European art is unparalleled. Each and every work is reproduced in The Louvre: All the Paintings (Black Dog & Leventhal; $75).
Jean Govoni Salvadore, a former public relations executive with TWA and Italy’s Villa d’Este, has been something of a Zelig in postwar Europe. Her photo-illustrated memoir, My Dolce Vita (Glitterati Incorporated; $30), recounts six decades of shoulders rubbed during her travels around the globe.
Photo by Lars Klove
We all have fantasies of what we'd rather be doing. Me, I'd like to run a beachside beer shack down Mexico way. I don't know what you're doing right now, but wouldn't you rather do it in, say, Bora Bora? The question is how to go about it. For some answers, consider one man's experience in On the Other Guy's Dime: A Professional's Guide To Traveling Without Paying, by G. Michael Schneider.
15,000 miles, 70 classic Southern restaurants, and one 1959 Cadillac. Sounds like the perfect summer road trip to me. Last summer, Lt. Commander Morgan Murphy, a former Southern Living travel editor, was lucky enough to do just that, visiting his favorite restaurants and uncovering 150 recipes from their menus. The result, Southern Living Off the Eaten Path, is one part travel guide and one part cookbook, perfect for planning your next Southern road trip or for when you can’t travel farther than your kitchen. After scouring the recipes, I recently baked the Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie recipe from the Ham Shoppe in Valle Crucis, NC. It is the perfect combination of sweet and tart and would make an awesome picnic dessert. For the recipe, click through!
Norma Kamali traveled to Iran during the reign of the Shah. Seattle-born designer Chris Benz’s favorite souvenir is a friendship bracelet. You’ll learn this and much more in American Fashion Travel: Designers on the Go (Assouline; $45)—a scrapbook-style compilation of Q&A’s with handwritten responses and personal snapshots from a range of stateside talent, plus a foreword written by intrepid traveler and New York style icon Diane von Furstenberg. The result is a colorful glimpse into the globe-trotting lives of fashion’s who’s who.
Photo by Lars Klove
Fact: We live in an era marked by overachievers. Witness the declining average age of American Idol contestants; the proliferation of cats who play the piano; and football star Dhani Jones.
After 11 seasons as one of the NFL’s most indomitable bruisers, the Cincinnati Bengals linebacker has made a name for himself off the field as a thrill-seeking citizen of the world. Jones is an entrepreneur with his own charitable bow-tie company; an environmental advocate; a photographer, poet, and musician; and the host of Travel Channel’s “Dhani Tackles the Globe,” in which he competes in the native sport of a foreign country—everything from dragon boat racing in Singapore to capoeira in Brazil—and uses his interaction with trainers and teammates as a way into the culture. Now he can add author to that list.
“Too few people understand a really good sandwich,” lamented the consummate foodie, James Beard, in a quote that appears on The Big New York Sandwich Book, by Sara Reistad-Long and Jean Tang (Running Press).
The new cookbook attempts to remedy this quandary with 99 creations from some of the best chefs in the Big Apple—a city that understands a thing or two about sandwiches.
While the recipes make it a worthwhile edition to your cookbook collection, the tone and selections make it fun—no matter what you’re in the mood for.
Here are a five of our favorites. Which one are you?
In The Tao of Travel (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; $25), out this month, the peripatetic writer compiles wisdom from an array of literature and life on the road. Here, he shares a few tidbits with T+L.
Q: Other than writing, how do you document your adventures?
A: I collect knick-knacks people have used, like snuff boxes and voodoo figures. There’s a Polynesian word, mana, meaning the spiritual power of an object—those things appeal to me.
Q: What have you learned from other writers?
A: As Flaubert said, when you’re traveling, you realize how small you are. Dollars are helpful, but a smile is more valuable.
Q: Is there a 21st-century Grand Tour?
A: In the 19th century, it was London, Paris, Rome, and Greece. Today it’s a global buffet: a safari in Africa, the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu, and the Carnival, in Brazil.
Photo by Steve McCurry