Cookbook Profile

Cooking from the Heart
100 Great American Chefs
Share Recipes They Cherish

by Michael J. Rosen

Cooking from the Heart 
"[A] belief in the spiritually restorative powers of food, especially when combined with a good story, is shared by the contributors to this volume, and their gifts of recipe and narrative will warm the heart and tummy."
          -Richard Russo, from the Foreword


In a dazed and disheartened America, people everywhere are feeling the immediate need to ensure the quality of family life and to redouble their efforts at acknowledging the goodness and generosity that friends, family, and community afford us all. It is a time to count blessings, and, moreover, to increase them.

What better and more salutary than food to link us, in an almost primal way, to specific times, people, and places. In this spirit, 100 of our country's most distinguished, passionate, and compassionate chefs share their most cherished dishes with us: a beloved, heirloom, even dog-eared recipe that's rich with family tradition. In Cooking from the Heart: 100 Great American Chefs Share Recipes They Cherish, created by Michael J. Rosen, with a Foreword by Pulitzer Prize winning author Richard Russo, we receive a bountiful tribute to the nurturing, consoling, memory-rich dishes that bring our families together. Whether a traditional cooking method or seasonal offering, each chef has chosen a recipe that represents more than a savory experience or a culinary quest-these are instead celebrated chefs honoring the affirmations of shared meals and shared words, showcasing the true nature of cooking as celebration, as communion, as theater, as a manifestation of commitment and devotion.

Along with a chef's voice, you'll hear a child's remembrances, a parent's hopes, a partner's aspirations, a grandparent's dreams, a friend's generosity. Aren't the foods that have sustained us, the foods that we offer others, and the foods with which we come to identify ourselves simply a form of love in one of its tenses? As Rylant Inn chef Craig Shelton says about a soup he learned from his grandmother, "...everything that's good about the world derives from love. Foods...have been the way I've been able to experience and to share much of it."

Cooking from the Heart is unique not only for its intimate chorus of chefs' voices and its outstanding collection of delicious, and heretofore unpublished, recipes, but also for its charitable contribution: a portion of the book's proceeds benefit Share Our Strength, one of the nation's preeminent anti-hunger, anti-poverty organizations, which has distributed more than $68 million to fight hunger worldwide.

The hundred chefs-more than ever assembled in a contemporary cookbook-include such superstars as Emeril Lagasse, Nancy Silverton, Daniel Boulud, Lidia Bastianich, Mario Batali, Charlie Trotter, and Rick Bayless, all of whom have donated their time, energy, foods, and services to Share Our Strength's fight against hunger. We join Chris Schlesinger, Massachusetts restaurant owner and author of eight cookbooks including Thrill of the Grill, as he recounts the genesis of his recipe for "Grilled Vidalia Onions with Lobster and Truffle Oil," concocted by Chris and his nephew after a choppy morning of gathering up their lobster pots.

Alice Waters of Chez Panisse shares a recipe for lamb soup, a dish she adapted for a Democratic fundraising dinner attended by none other than President Clinton (who loved it). Emeril Lagasse invites readers to cook up his "Penne with Bolognese Sauce", a family favorite at the every-Sunday get-togethers-especially during football season-at his home. Award-winning chef, author, and television personality Rick Bayless shares his grandmother's "Peach Orchard Cobbler" recipe along with the memories of picking peaches with his cousins in the hot Oklahoma sun. And Sara Moulton, author and host of Sara's Secrets, recounts her magical first trip to Greece when she discovered Greek-Style Grilled Fish and Grilled Eggplant, Tomato, and Feta Stacks.

With recipes diverse and delicious, Cooking from the Heart is organized into sections for starters; brunch and lighter dishes; soups and stews; pasta and rice; seafood; poultry; meats; salads and side dishes; and desserts-all tailored for the home kitchen.

Speaking as parents, children, partners, neighbors, husbands, wives and friends, the chefs in Cooking from the Heart provide a joyous collection of recipes in which love is always the first ingredient. A cookbook with a heart, soul, and a mission, Cooking from the Heart offers not only recipes to try and to savor, but stories that will trigger any reader's memories of those dishes that are personal touchstones. As Gale Gand says, "Maybe you wonder what people will say about you in your obituary, but in my family, we think of what five dishes people will remember us by. Don't we get to visit with family members we've lost when we cook their dishes?"

Michael J. Rosen is the author or editor of some fifty books for adults and children, several of which have benefited Share Our Strength, on whose Board of Directors he has served for a dozen years. His other books include poetry, children's books, the humor biennial Mirth of a Nation, and the cookbook Midnight Snacks. He lives in central Ohio.

Richard Russo, who contributed the Foreword, is the bestselling author of Empire Falls, The Whore's Child, Nobody's Fool, Straight Man, and other fiction.

Share Our Strength is one of the nation's preeminent anti-hunger agencies. Its programs include Taste of the Nation and the Great American Bake Sale, a nationwide fund-raising event that targets childhood hunger. Since 1984, Share Our Strength has distributed more than $69 million to fight hunger worldwide. For more information, visit


Buy the Book!


Cooking from the Heart
100 Great American Chefs Share Recipes They Cherish
A Share Our Strength Book to Fight Hunger
written, with an introduction, by Michael J. Rosen
Foreword by Richard Russo
Broadway Books
US $29.95 / $44.95 CAN
Hardcover / 306 pages
ISBN: 0-7679-1371X
Information provided by the publisher.


Cooking from the Heart



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This page created October 2003