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Bestia: Bold Italian Cooking

Ten Speed: Crown. Oct. 2018. 336p. photos. index. ISBN 9780399580901. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780399580918. COOKING
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Despite its hard-to-find location in Los Angeles, Bestia restaurant was a hit from the start and continues to be a coveted reservation. Husband-wife owners Menashe and Genevieve Gergis; he is the head chef, she is the pastry chef, together with food journalist Lesley Suter, have a produced an attractive book highlighting their full-flavored, Italian-based food. Like many restaurant books, this one assumes a fair bit of culinary knowledge, with large sections on charcuterie and pickling, as well as recipes that call for a dehydrator as well as access to specialized ingredients. But the dedicated cook looking to replicate the Bestia experience will be rewarded with recipes such as scallop crudo with citrus and dried olives, pici with saffron lamb ragu, and slow-roasted suckling pig. Among the most intriguing recipes are starters; several of the main dishes utilize a grill, which may be of limited use to some readers, but the pizza recipes instruct on using a home oven and a large section on desserts offers many tips for success.
VERDICT A beautiful Bestia souvenir and a workable title for ambitious home cooks.—Devon Thomas, Chelsea, MI
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