Embracing a Healthy Family: How to Roast a Lamb Book by Michael Psilakis Review

How to Roast a Lamb Book by Michael Psilakis Review

I recently received a copy of the cookbook titled How to Roast a Lamb - New Greek Classic Cooking by Michael Psilakis (Author) and Barbara Kafka (Forward) from Hachette Book Group and an opportunity from The Product Review Place.

If you don't know who Michael Psilakis is, you might have seen him on Food Network.  He also won the 2008 Food & Wine Best Chef award for redefining Greek cooking in America.

Go here to read more about this honor as well as 10 of his great recipes.

He continues to reap the rewards for top chef honors:
  • Esquire 2007 Chef of the Year
  • Bon Appetit 2008 Chef of the Year
  • Gourmet 2007: "New York City goes Greek...but no-one does it as luminously as Michael Psilakis."
  • Time Out New York:  "Michael Psilakis elevates Greek cuisine to Olympian heights."
  • New York Magazine 2008: "The cooking [at Anthos] establishes Michael Psilakis as the Mario Batali of nouvelle Aegean cuisine."

He was born the same year as me but started out in a career of accounting and then decided to pursue a law degree.  While financing that path, he waited tables and found he had a liking for the restaurant industry.

He has opened a few restaurants and is one of the more featured and sought after chef of modern times.

Product Details:

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (October 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316041211
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316041218
Book Description:

A rising star in the food world, Michael Psilakis is co-owner of a growing empire of modern Mediterranean restaurants, and one of the most exciting young chefs in America today. In How to Roast a Lamb, the self-taught chef offers recipes from his restaurants and his home in this, his much-anticipated first cookbook.

To see the inside of the book, click here.

Ten chapters provide colorful and heartfelt personal essays that lead into thematically related recipes. Gorgeous color photography accompanies many of the recipes throughout.

Psilakis's cooking utilizes the fresh, naturally healthful ingredients of the Mediterranean augmented by techniques that define New American cuisine. Home cooks who have gravitated toward Italian cookbooks for the simple, user-friendly dishes, satisfying flavors, and comfortable, family-oriented meals, will welcome Psilakis's approach to Greek food, which is similarly healthful, affordable, and satisfying to share any night of the week.

My Review:

The initial look of the book is magnificent.  It's a large book (three pounds) with a rare cover to the book outside of the jacket.  I have noticed most books only contain the print on the jacket while the book is left bare.  The photography is very inviting and draws you in.  To me, it was not just a recipe book but a family journal of inspirational ideas with a feel for getting to know who Michael was and is.

This cookbook is more than a cookbook as it's a collection of recipes on memories, emotions and insights that transpired throughout Michael's childhood and early adolescence.  The forward section thoroughly explains the recipes and how to follow them which I found very helpful as I'm a novice Greek cook.  His offerings of short cuts and optional steps/ingredients is a nice touch as you elevate up the level of being a true Greek chef.

If you aren't too familiar with ingredients used in Greek recipes, he does a superb job with describing them and providing the substitutes.

For the recipe I chose, which was difficult as there were so many wonderful choices, I went with Souvlaki:  Chicken and Pork Shish Kebab.  It looked AMAZING and mouth watering good!

I will forwarn you that the recipes are not simple or at least the one's I looked at.  They take time to read and understand and to coordinate what you need to purchase.  I photocopies the pages I needed as there was the main recipe but I also needed items for the Greek Salad, Ladolemono and Tsatziki.  All in all, it was a labored event so ensure you have the time to put forward in creating this masterpiece.
This meal was FANTASTIC and definitely worth the time it took to make.  If you love or even like Greek food and have even a small desire to cook, this book is for you! 

To purchase his book, visit Amazon:


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adrian said...

Thanks for explaining that this cookbook includes descriptions of the ingredients used in Greek recipes. Good for those of us who might not be too familiar with them.

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