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The Chef's Library: Brandon Boudet and In Bocca + A Dinner at Little Dom's Based On The Cookbooks

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Wed, Jan 9, 2013 at 12:00 PM

click to enlarge Chef Brandon Boudet's collection of In Bocca vintage cookbooks - COURTESY BRANDON BOUDET
  • Courtesy Brandon Boudet
  • Chef Brandon Boudet's collection of In Bocca vintage cookbooks
The Chef's Library is a series in which we ask chefs around town to tell us about their favorite cookbooks. Today, we talk to Brandon Boudet, chef of Dominick's and Little Dom's.

There's all kinds of things that can spark an eBay addiction -- for chef Brandon Boudet it was the siren song of vintage cookbooks. But not just any cookbooks. Specifically, he discovered In Bocca, a series of Italian books published in the 1970s by the Italian publisher Il Vespro.

"In my spare time, I often look for one-of-a kind cookbooks. I stumbled across one of these a few years ago, and I guess you could say it started my eBay addiction," Boudet says. "Since discovering them, they've become one of my favorite series to cook from."

The books feature colorful, outrageous artwork on the covers, and regional recipes.

"Each volume focuses on one of the eight regions in Italy. All the recipes are written in Italian, but there are also vague translations in English. For example, instead of exact measurements, the translations say things like 'use two fistfuls of rice.' It's more of a loose interpretation.

"The cardboard bindings and illustrious cover art makes them truly unique. I was finally able to hunt many of them down, but the search continues! There are still several more I'd like to get my hands on. One of them even has the original price sticker of $17.95. Now, these are worth about $300-$400 a piece."

Tomorrow night at Little Dom's, Boudet will be cooking from the Milan edition, In Bocca Milano, printed in 1976. From 5:30-11 p.m., you'll be able to choose dishes gleaned from the book, along with suggested wine pairings. Boudet's collection of In Bocca cookbooks will be on display behind the bar. Reservations are recommended -- call 323-661-0055 to reserve a spot.


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