World Chefs: Vetri shows passion for rustic Italian food

Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:32am EST
 
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters) - American chef Marc Vetri, in his second cookbook, shows home cooks how to prepare flavorful, robust Italian cuisine similar to what he serves in restaurants.

"Rustic Italian Food" includes recipes for southern Mediterranean food. Vetri's three restaurants in Philadelphia are known for inventive food. His namesake flagship eatery has been cited by critics as one of the best Italian restaurants in the United States.

The 43-year-old spoke to Reuters about his passion for Italian cuisine, overcoming his stuttering and his love of cereal.

Q: What is the goal of your latest book?

A: "This is the book that I always wanted to write, using my hands more. The breads and sausage making, this is how I cook at home and there are a lot of the artisan things in there. There are the bread making and the pizza making and the sausage making. That's what I love about this book."

Q: Why is Italian food so popular?

A: "It is just a natural, beautiful way to cook food. There are a lot of these other chefs. They will stick this on a plate, some of that on a plate ... But with Italian food, there is nothing to hide behind. It's really all so simple. It's really harder to cook that way and make it perfect. People are just fascinated by the simplicity of the food and why is it such a perfect way to eat."

Q: Isn't it difficult to execute simplicity?   Continued...

 
<p>Chef Marc Vetri is seen in a handout photo. REUTERS/Kelly Campbell/Reprinted with permission from Rustic Italian Food by Marc Vetri, copyright 2011/Handout</p>