the appetizer:

Off The Menu, Staff Meals from America's Top Restaurants by Marissa Guggiana includes recipes like Wild-Boar Ragu; Herb Biscuits with Cheese; Ricotta Pancakes with Roasted Applesauce; and Roasted Whole Croaker and Cabbage Slaw.



Off The Menu
Staff Meals from America's Top Restaurants

by Marissa Guggiana

Off The Menu
Click to buy Off The Menu


In Off The Menu: Staff Meals from America's Top Restaurants, by Marissa Guggiana, you will find 100 recipes from more than 50 of the nation's top restaurants. Each entry includes profiles of the restaurants, Q&As with the chefs, behind-the-scenes trips to the kitchens, and dining out tips, restaurant tricks, and cooking techniques from the cream of the culinary crop. Pull back the curtain on the staff meal, and find new, exciting ways to feed your family from the best in the business.

This past year, Marissa Guggiana spent months back out on the road, interviewing, travelling, photographing, and sharing staff (or family) meals at more than fifty of America's top sustainable restaurants from coast to coast.

For every lunch or dinner service, there is a staff meal. The best chefs in the best restaurants take their limitations—affordability, ingredients, and time—and create meals worthy of their compatriots. Ranging from small plates to multi course extravaganzas, the concept is simple: A well-fed staff is a happy one.

Guggiana looked for chefs that sourced locally, thoughtfully, with a big eco-picture in mind and a well-fed staff at their heart. The result is simply unprecedented: a no-holds-barred trip behind the kitchen door, introducing you to every chef, sous-chef, line cook, server, bus boy, bartender, hostess, sommelier, dishwasher, and manager—all of whom you will come to adore. Off the Menu, an homage to cooking with love and leftovers, makes accessibility a delight. Lush, colorful, homegrown, and delicious, it is packed with lessons, tips, substitutes, anecdotes, and Americn wine and beer suggestions.

At Vetri in Philadelphia, we get a family recipe from Chef Marc Vetri's father and at Anne Quatrano's Bacchanalia, we are whisked into the adjoining Star Provisions, described as a "culinary dream shop; for bahn mi sandwiches. We go from gumbo to hot dogs, chicken and biscuits to duck and lettuce wraps, Tuscan kale salad to Chile Verde. It's all here.

The icing on the cake is the chef's profile: Guggiana's own Escoffier Ouestionnaire, is a playful epicurean take on the Proust questionnaire. Who better to recommend the best coffee shop or the perfect restaurant for a splurge, than the top chefs in the country? Find out where Paul Liebrandt of Corton goes for an after-work meal and the go-to-guilty-pleasure treat of Chef Michael White of Marea. The restaurants included vary from vegetarian to rustic, old-world Italian cuisine, from Asian-fusion to contemporary Mexican, from Scandinavian to Oyster bar. These are the meals that make a staff a family and family part of the staff.

Featured Restaurants and Chefs:

  • Abattoir: Joshua Hopkins, Atlanta, GA
  • AOC: Suzanne Goin, Los Angeles, CA
  • Aquavit: Marcus Jernmark, New York, NY
  • Bacchanalia: Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison, Atlanta, GA
  • Blackbird: Paul Kahan, Chicago, IL
  • Blue Hill at Stone Barns: Dan Barber, Tanytown, NY
  • Bluestem: Megan and Colby Garrelts, Kansas City, MO
  • Butcher & Larder: Rob Levitt, Chicago, IL
  • Camino:-RusseILMoore, Oakland, CA
  • Cinque Terre: Lee Skawinski, Portland, ME
  • Commander's Palace: Tory McPhail, New Orleans, LA
  • Comme ça: David Myers, Los Angeles (West Hollywood), CA
  • Corton: Paul Liebrandt, New York, NY
  • Crook's Corner: Bill Smith, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Delfina: Craig Stoll, San Francisco, CA
  • Dirt Candy: Amanda Cohen, New York, NY
  • Distrito: Jose Garces, Philadelphia, PA
  • Flour + Water: Thomas McNaughton, San Francisco, CA
  • 4th & Swift: Jay Swift, Atlanta, GA
  • Frances: Melissa Perello, San Francisco, CA
  • Franny's: Andrew Feinberg, Brooklyn, NY
  • Frasca Food and Wine: Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, Boulder, CO
  • Galatoire's: Brian Landry, New Orleans, LA
  • Hatfield's: Karen Hatfield and Quinn Hatfield, Los Angeles, CA
  • Herbsaint: Donald Link, New Orleans, LA
  • La Condesa: Rene Ortiz, Austin, TX
  • La Provence: John Besh, Lacombe, LA
  • Lark: Johnathan Sundstrom, Seattle, WA
  • Le Comptoir: Sebastien Chama ret, Brooklyn, NY
  • Locanda Verde: Andrew Carmellini, New York, NY
  • Marea: Michael White and Jared Gadbaw, New York, NY
  • Marlow & Sons: Sean Rembold, Brooklyn, NY
  • Meme: David Katz, Philadelphia, PA
  • Michael's Genuine Food & Drink: Michael Schwartz, Miami, FL
  • Michael's on the Hill: Michael Kloeti, Waterbury, VT
  • Northern Spy Food Co.: Nathan Foot, New York, NY
  • Nostrana: Cathy Whims, Portland, OR
  • Osteria Stellina: Christian Caiazzo, Point Reyes Station, CA
  • O Ya: Tim Cushman, Boston, MA
  • Paley's Place: Vitaly Paley, Portland, OR
  • Perla's Seafood & Oyster Bar: Larry McGuire, Austin, TX
  • Pok Pok: Andy Ricker, Portland, OR
  • Restaurant Eugene: Linton Hopkins, Atlanta, GA
  • Siren Hall: Michael Peterson, Elk Rapids, MI
  • Tabard Inn: Paul Pelt, Washington, DC
  • Tavolata: Ethan Stowell, Seattle, WA
  • Toro: Jamie Bissonnette, Boston, MA
  • Urban Belly: Bill Kim, Chicago, IL
  • Vetri Ristorante: Marc Vetri, Philadelphia, PA
  • Woodberry Kitchen: Spike Gjerde, Baltimore, MD
  • Zingerman's Roadhouse: Alex Young, Ann Arbor, MI
About the Author

Marissa Guggiana is the author of Primal Cuts: Cooking with America's Best Butchers, which profiles fifty of the most innovative whole-animal butchers and chefs in America and shares their most impressive recipes. In 2012, she co-founded The Butcher's Guild, a national organization promoting and supporting artisanal butchery. Marissa is an editor and contributor to Meatpaper magazine and a board member of Ag Innovations Network. She lives in Berkeley, California.

  • Off The Menu
    Staff Meals from America's Top Restaurants
  • by Marissa Guggiana
  • Welcome Books 2011
  • Paperback, 288 pages, $40.00
  • ISBN-10: 1599621029
  • ISBN-13: 978-159962-102-9
  • Information provided by the publisher.

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