As Marc Vetri gears up to pen his third cookbook, his right-hand man and partner in Osteria, Amis and Alla Spina, Jeff Michaud, is putting the finishing touches on his first written work. He tells Grub that the forthcoming book, Eating Italy: A Culinary Adventure Through Italy’s Best Meals (Running Press) will hit bookshelves in September. It’s part cookbook, part autobiography and part travelogue, covering the James Beard Award-winning chef’s culinary actualization while living and working in Italy from 2003 to 2006. “It’s basically about me learning to define myself as a chef,” Michaud told us about the book. “It covers everything from the time I moved to Italy, immersed myself in the culture, learned the language and met my wife while working in a restaurant there.”
Through the book’s 300-plus pages, Michaud recounts his experiences, and the inspiration he drew from bouncing around the country and working in restaurants. He adds that he learned just as much, if not more, from living with his wife’s family, and being schooled in the important role cooking plays in Italian families. It will also contain upwards of 130 to 140 recipes.
Michaud chose author David Joachim to help him write it. In addition to being a well-seasoned cookbook author with more than 40 titles to his credit including Kevin Gillespie’s Fire in My Belly, as well as Vetri’s two tomes, Joachim has traveled extensively through Northern Italy with various Vetri team members over the years, lodging with Michaud’s in-laws, and visiting many of the restaurants highlighted in the book.
“He saw it all, and experienced it first-hand,” Michaud said. “So, it was very easy for him to get me and my voice.”