Bake the Book: Old School Comfort Food: The Way I Learned To Cook


Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli is quick to note that she doesn't possess the old-world pedigree her name implies. And that's just fine. The power of her mother's and father's passion for food and its inherent rituals was enough to instill in her a respect and curiosity that started in the home and spilled into some of the best kitchens in the world.

Old School Comfort Food: The Way I Learned To Cook is the tangible product of a lifetime of experiments, effort, and discovery. From cutting her teeth under chef Larry Forgione, to Guy Savoy and Daniel Boulud's kitchens, to teaching at the Culinary Institute, and running the show at Butter, chef Guarnaschelli has played the role of student and teacher, consumer and chef.

And it shows. Owing to her varied adventures in food, the book is full of hard-won information delivered confidently and without pause. Sections are divided by food type and bordered by stories that explain the philosophy behind the recipes. An example: "Dessert: It's Never About Hunger" is the kind of chapter title that makes the true sweets lover smirk conspiratorially, sensing a fellow.

This week, we're starting with Raspberry Doughnuts with Vanilla Dipping Sauce and Indian Pudding. The former born of multiple efforts to recreate the beignets at Butter, and the latter straight from her mother's kitchen on a fall afternoon. That, in essence, is Old School Comfort Food: venerating the old that allowed for the new.

Win A Copy!

Thanks to the generous folks over at Clarkson Potter, we are giving away five (5) copies of Old School Comfort Food this week.

All you have to do is tell us your comfort food go-to in the comments section below.

The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.