Video: Cooking, Italian Style, December 2011


Culinary Horizon: Tuscany; 4 Chefs, 3 Kitchens and a Barbeque.color. 150+ min. with recipe booklet. Peter Bentley, PM Prods., dist. by Victory Multimedia, 310-590-1388; 2011. DVD UPC 884501432108. $19.95. COOKING
Viewers will want to pack both their bags and their pots and pans as effervescent host Natalie Wallace whisks them off on a whirlwind tour of Tuscany and a taste of its culinary treasures, narrated by actor Robert Morse. Wallace visits with four local chefs who share the secrets to preparing some of their favorite Tuscan culinary treats, including Basil Pasta with Pesto, Potato Gnocchi, and Biscotti Rigato. Sandwiched in between the cooking lessons are quick introductions to the arts and crafts of Tuscany via visits to a glassblowing factory and a cheese-maker. Fortunately for novice cooks, who may find it challenging to keep up with the quick pace of the actual cooking lessons, a recipe booklet is included. Both cooks and armchair travelers will enjoy this entertaining and informative DVD, which neatly captures the essence of Tuscany and its irresistible cuisine.‚ John Charles, Scottsdale P.L., AZ

Dare To Cook Seasonal Italian Cuisine with Chef Tom Small: Fall. DVD 9781604900590; Blu-ray ISBN 9781604900934.
Dare To Cook Seasonal Italian Cuisine with Chef Tom Small: Winter.DVD ISBN 9781604900569; Blu-ray ISBN 9781604900903.
Dare To Cook Seasonal Italian Cuisine with Chef Tom Small: Spring. DVD ISBN 9781604900576; Blu-ray ISBN 9781604900910.
Dare To Cook Seasonal Italian Cuisine with Chef Tom Small: Summer.DVD ISBN 9781604900583; Blu-ray ISBN 9781604900927.
ea. vol: color. 60 min. Bennett-Watt Entertainment, 800-327-2893; 2011. DVD/Blu-ray $24.95; set DVD 9781604900705; Blu-ray ISBN 9781604901047. $94.95. COOKING
Washington State‚ based chef Tom Small has all the right ingredients to be an outstanding cooking coach: a graceful way of moving about in limited space and using standard equipment; mellow, unhurried speech; and a creative use of ingredients. He here prepares inspired Italian dishes in what looks like his home kitchen and on his outdoor deck. He is a chef who knows what he is doing and can convey it to others in an easy fashion. Each disc includes a variety of creative recipes for appetizers and salads, entrées, desserts, and drinks appropriate to the featured season as well as a demonstration of special skills. For example, on Summer, he shows how to debone a whole chicken; on Fall, how to make sausage without special equipment. From first to last, this reviewer‚ a dedicated amateur‚ wanted to go right to her kitchen to prepare some of his dishes and felt certain she could do so with only one more viewing. Small is a serious, straightforward, and knowledgeable professional and a splendid teacher. This series is highly recommended for academic cooking classes, high school and above, and for public library patrons wanting to expand their kitchen repertoire.‚ Sheila S. Intner, Prof. Emerita, Simmons GSLIS at Mount Holyoke Coll., So. Hadley, MA

Bette-Lee Fox About Bette-Lee Fox

Bette-Lee Fox ( is Managing Editor, Library Journal.

Now in her 46th year with Library Journal, Bette-Lee also edits LJ's Video Reviews column, six times a year Romance column, and e-original Romance reviews, which post weekly as LJ Xpress Reviews. She received the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Vivian Stephens Industry Award in 2013 for having "contributed to the genre or to RWA in a significant and/or continuing manner"