The new Roberta's Cookbook has an army of people behind it: writing credits go to chef Carlo Mirarchi, Brandon Hoy, Chris Parachini, and Katherine Wheelock, and even more people get photo credits. The book tells the story of the scrappy beginnings of the Bushwick restaurant and its subsequent rise to pizza glory. The recipes are often simple preparations that demand quality ingredients, and the book takes a hard line on using specific varietals: "We would rather frustrate you with a few ingredients that are difficult to find than frustrate you by supplying substitutions for half the ingredients in a recipe."
It's unclear whether or not the book is actually intended to be used as a cookbook, though, or if it's aiming for a shinier category of restaurant book that functions more as a record of a beloved space than a guide for home cooking. According to the intro, "To experience Roberta's, you have to visit it. That's the truth. We realize that truth isn't unique to us, but we thought about it a lot during the making of this book." And it shows: the book is mostly about the story behind Roberta's, the hard work and uncertainty of creating it out of essentially nothing. Roberta's Cookbook is out from Clarkson Potter on October 29; pre-order on Amazon.
· Roberta's Cookbook [Amazon]
· All Roberta's Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Cookbook Coverage on Eater [-E-]