From the two-time James Beard award-winning chef, an exciting debut cookbook—a moving, deeply personal journey of survival and discovery that tells of the evolution of a cuisine and of the transformative power and magic of food and cooking.

From Israel to Philadelphia to Italy to the American South, Alon Shaya’s circuitous path of (cooking) twists and (life-affirming) turns led him to his award-winning New Orleans restaurants: Shaya, Domenica, and Pizza Domenica. Now in his first book, he writes about his inspiring path and shares over 100 of his very favorite recipes, from Yemenite Stewed Chicken to Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Whipped Feta.

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“Alon’s journey is as gripping and as seductive as his cooking: from his safta’s lamb kebabs to his liaisons with drug dealers at fifteen; from his blueberry rugelach or bright green falafel to the 500 crab cakes he lost to hurricane Katrina. Lovely stories, terrific food.”
Yotam Ottolenghi, author of Jerusalem: A Cookbook

“Breathtaking. What makes this book dazzle is that Alon does not discard his food memories but transforms them into the recipes that so many of us have eaten at his restaurants Domenica and Shaya and can now enjoy by making them at home. Bravo!”
Joan Nathan, author of King Solomon’s Table
“The way Alon weaves his cuisine through different cultures that he has encountered should be an inspiration to all young cooks who strive to create their own style. His book is as refreshing as it is imaginative.”
Marc Vetri, author of Mastering Pasta

“Alon Shaya’s book is an exquisite expression of the way food can become so enriched with culture and tradition that it changes our culinary landscape. Whether it’s the Borekas that taught him lessons as a child or the Red Beans and Rice that he selflessly made to save victims of Hurricane Katrina, Alon Shaya is a true hero of mine. I would recommend this book to ambitious chefs and anyone looking for an inspiring read.”
Mario Batali, author of Mario Batali—Big American Cookbook

“Food has long since told the story of who we are as a people, yet Alon’s story goes deeper as food became the resounding beacon of hope along his tumultuous journey. Through his delicious heartfelt recipes and stories, Alon illustrates how even the most humble of foods have the potential to change lives. Chef Shaya’s, story is a story of hope, growth and evolution of a young chef, turned one of the most iconic chefs of his time through the power of humbly cooking for others from the heart and learning along the way. Not only is Shaya a fascinating and salivating read but one of the most thoughtfully composed kitchen books ever!”
John Besh, author of My New Orleans: The Cookbook