Cookbooks come in waves. This season there are a profligacy of Middle Eastern and Vegan titles, but Shaya is extraordinary. The eponymous restaurant is a small dive in New Orleans featuring a particularly Creole take on traditional Israeli cuisine. Who wouldn't want to try Kugel in Crisis and Schmaltzy Potatoes?— Cheryl
An exciting debut cookbook that confirms the arrival of a new guru chef . . . A moving, deeply personal journey of survival and discovery that tells of the evolution of a cuisine and of the transformative power and magic of food and cooking. From the two-time James Beard Award-winning chef whose celebrated New Orleans restaurants have been hailed as the country's most innovative and best by Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Saveur, GQ, and Esquire.
• "Alon's journey is as gripping and as seductive as his cooking . . . Lovely stories, terrific food."
--Yotam Ottolenghi, author of Jerusalem: A Cookbook
• "Breathtaking. Bravo." --Joan Nathan, author of King Solomon's Table
Alon Shaya's is no ordinary cookbook. It is a memoir of a culinary sensibility that begins in Israel and wends its way from the U.S.A. (Philadelphia) to Italy (Milan and Bergamo), back to Israel (Jerusalem) and comes together in the American South, in the heart of New Orleans. It's a book that tells of how food saved the author's life and how, through a circuitous path of (cooking) twists and (life-affirming) turns the author's celebrated cuisine--food of his native Israel with a creole New Orleans kick came to be, along with his award-winning New Orleans restaurants: Shaya, Domenica, and Pizza Domenica, ranked by Esquire, Bon Appétit, and others as the best new restaurants in the United States.
These are stories of place, of people, and of the food that connects them, a memoir of one man's culinary sensibility, with food as the continuum throughout his journey--guiding his personal and professional decisions, punctuating every memory, choice, every turning point in his life. Interspersed with glorious full-color photographs and illustrations that follow the course of all the flavors Shaya has tried, places he's traveled, things he's experienced, lessons he's learned--more than one hundred recipes--from Roasted Chicken with Harissa to Speckled Trout with Tahini and Pine Nuts; Crab Cakes with Preserved Lemon Aioli; Roasted Cast-Iron Ribeye; Marinated Soft Cheese with Herbs and Spices; Buttermilk Biscuits; and Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Whipped Feta.
About the Author
ALON SHAYA was born in Israel, raised in Philadelphia, and calls New Orleans his home. The three celebrated restaurants he started and ran as executive chef/partner--Domenica, Pizza Domenica, and Shaya--reflect his culinary journey and love of Israeli and Italian cuisine. In 2017, Alon Shaya formed Pomegranate Hospitality to foster opportunities for colleagues, partners, and friends in a comfortable and professional environment where cultural differences are celebrated. Alon Shaya has been nominated for five James Beard Awards. In 2015 he was named "Best Chef, South" while at Domenica, and a year later, 'Shaya' was hailed as "Best New Restaurant". He was called one of the "50 People Who Are Changing the South" by Southern Living magazine, and by The Forward as one of the "50 Most Influential Jews in America". He is the author of a cookbook, Shaya: An Odyssey of Food, My Journey Back to Israel, published by Alfred A. Knopf, and with Pomegranate Hospitality he is opening two new restaurants: Saba in New Orleans and Safta in Denver.
A celebration of Alon Shaya’s
An Odyssey of Food, My Journey Back to Israel
"A captivating memoir ... it may be the first cookbook you read cover to cover. Shaya's personal journey and path is intriguing and his story is hard to put down."
--Amy Spiro, The Jerusalem Post
"Alon Shaya's stunning debut cookbook, with over 100 recipes wrapped in a candid, compelling 'autobiography' about his culinary sensibility and how he found his way to becoming an award-winning chef. And we're the lucky beneficiaries of his unique, very personal take on what it means to meld the best of many food traditions ... so many fabulous flavors, so many imaginative combos."
--Sybil Pratt, Bookpage
"Part cookbook, part memoir, Alon Shaya writes of identity, memory, and the power that food holds in our lives. This is a beautiful cookbook, rich with emotion and recipes filled with spices and herbs and all of the vegetables I am drawn toward."
“Breathtaking. What makes this book dazzle is that Alon does not discard his food memories but transforms them into the recipes that so many of us have eaten at his restaurants Domenica and Shaya and can now enjoy by making them at home. Bravo!”
—Joan Nathan, author of King Solomon’s Table
“The way Alon weaves his cuisine through different cultures that he has encountered should be an inspiration to all young cooks who strive to create their own style. His book is as refreshing as it is imaginative.”
—Marc Vetri, author of Mastering Pasta
“Alon’s journey is as gripping and as seductive as his cooking: from his safta’s lamb kebabs to his liaisons with drug dealers at fifteen; from his blueberry rugelach or bright green falafel to the 500 crab cakes he lost to hurricane Katrina. Lovely stories, terrific food.”
—Yotam Ottolenghi, author of Jerusalem: A Cookbook