This is my favorite kind of cookbook: personal, welcoming, and absolutely delicious. As much a narrative of Shaya’s life (from Israel to Philadelphia, Italy to New Orleans) as a collection of recipes, the warmth and quality of his writing had me reading this book cover to cover like a novel. That Shaya’s food (Southern-Israeli-Italian) shines even brighter than his exceptional prose is no surprise, as he is an acclaimed restaurateur and a two-time James Beard Award winner. But what has caught me off guard is how much this book lingers in my mind even when I’m nowhere near the kitchen.— S.B.
Part memoir, part cookbook, each page radiates with feeling and flavor. Beautifully written vignettes of Shaya’s life and the people who shaped his cooking lead into clear and visceral recipes. Simple instructions powerfully evoke flavor, texture, aroma, and heat at every step of the dish. This book is warm and delicious and will keep you reading and, (hopefully) eating.— Jocelyn
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