SPQR Chef Matt Accarrino Travels Home to Flood-Damaged New Jersey, Laments Lost Cookbooks

Some of Accarrino's water-damaged collection, including <em>Casual Cooking</em> by Michael Chiarello.
Some of Accarrino's water-damaged collection, including Casual Cooking by Michael Chiarello. Photo: Matt Accarrino

At least one local chef was directly affected by the superstorm on the East Coast last week, and that’s Matt Accarrino of SPQR. He flew back this past weekend to survey the damage at his family’s flooded home in Belmar, New Jersey, which he tells us feels like “an absolute war zone.” He reports that he lost a few hundred bottles of wine as well as about 300 cookbooks that he had been storing in his parents’ basement, including a signed first edition of White Heat by Marco Pierre White, whom Accarrino staged for in London fifteen years ago; and a signed copy of Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans Cooking, which Emeril inscribed when Accarrino worked for him years ago. “Heartbreak kinda stuff,” he tells us. His family is safe and was evacuated to just outside Philadelphia, and he’ll be flying back here to be back in the kitchen at the restaurant tomorrow night. If you’re able to offer any help to victims of the storm, you may want to check out Occupy Sandy, which is a coordinated online relief effort that sprang out of Occupy Wall Street. [MattAccarrino/Twitter]