Reviews of Breaking Bread in L’Aquila

From Sweet Italy Estates (May 2011)

“George Clooney’s film The American is likely to spark new interest in the cookery of Abruzzo. Clooney’s character, Jack, is seen eating in several cafes in mountain villages in the region, and audiences will be curious to learn more about typical Abruzzese food. . . . This is truly a cookbook written with love.”

From the New York Times, “Dining Calendar” (March 29, 2011)

“The recent earthquake in Japan may dominate the news, but many people have not forgotten the earthquake that hit L’Aquila in the Abruzzo region of Italy in 2009. Part of the price of a cookbook about the food of Abruzzo—Breaking Bread in L’Aquila by Maria Filice—is being donated to restoration efforts in the devastated area.”

From Laura Ponticello, Laura’s List: Books for Women (January 3, 2011)

“Maria Filice is on a quest to inspire 1,000,000 people with her recent cookbook that helps create positive change with the book proceeds and is written from the heart. . . . I suggest this book in every kitchen and help spread the word about the story behind the creation of this book.”

From Janelle Fields, “Breaking Bread Over Social Media” (November 18, 2010)

“A stunningly beautiful food experience book borne out of her attachment to the Abruzzo region of Italy. . . . I bought two copies of Breaking Bread in L’Aquila, one for me and one as a Christmas gift. I made Spaghetti with Garlic, Oil and Chili Peppers that very night. It was very, very good. But it’s not Maria’s recipes that engage me most. Honestly, it’s Maria’s gorgeously lush photos and even more, her philosophy to live life to its fullest.” (Read more here.)

From Lynn Andriani, Publishers Weekly (September 13, 2010)

“The new George Clooney thriller currently in theaters, The American, is set in Italy’s Abruzzo region. The area—midway up Italy’s boot, on the Adriatic side—is known for its glorious cuisine, heavy on chili pepper, and famous for its chitarra (guitar) pasta, which gets its name from the wire-stringed instrument on which it is made. With the movie, cookbook author and food stylist Maria Filice has found herself uniquely poised to talk about Abruzzo’s food. . . .” (Read more here.)

From Rita Demontis, Toronto Sun (September 22, 2010)

“A lovely read with reams of excellent, easy-to-follow recipes.”

From Candor Town Talk (September 16, 2010)

“With the setting of Clooney’s latest film, The American, in the Abruzzo region, Filice was asked by Focus Features to provide some recipes for the cuisine that Clooney’s character might enjoy. Filice’s recipes will also be featured on the website of Focus Features, makers of the film.”

From Elena Serra, Corriere Canadese (September 15, 2010)

“Aveva presentato il suo libro a Toronto in occasione del primo anniversario del terribile terremoto che aveva colpito L’Aquila il 6 aprile 2009. Da quel giorno Maria Filice, italo-canadese autrice del libro di ricette abruzzesi Breaking Bread in L’Aquila, ha percorso passi da gigante, e tra eventi e la partecipazione al film con Gorge Clooney The American, girato proprio in Abruzzo, ha raccontato al Corriere Canadese i suoi progetti futuri.” (Read more here.)

From Laura Belluomini, Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary Arts (July 19, 2010)

“For the cook with the sophisticated side, and an affinity for family-style Italian meals, Breaking Bread in L’Aquila is the perfect book. Maria Filice divulges an entire week of dinners which include five courses each: Antipasta, Primi Piatti, Secondi Piatti, Contorni, and Dolci. All have explanations of their original place in a family-style Italian dinner and variations that can be used to create smaller meals. Filice has planned the dishes to complement one another; however she makes it abundantly clear that picking and choosing favorites is entirely okay. Wine is an important aspect of any truly Italian dinner, and Filice makes sure to include wine suggestions, all native to Abruzzo, Italy. Breaking Bread in L’Aquila is an organized and nostalgic book, giving Filice the opportunity to share both recipes and family tradition with the world. Check out this book today in the library!! To see the author’s signature, come to the library to view it in our special collections!”

From Library Journal (February 15, 2010)

“Filice traveled many times with her late husband, Paul Piccone, to his native central Italy. Her cookbook is full of elegant and rich traditional dishes from the L’Aquila region, arranged as a week of feasts-each day has a menu of four courses, which can each be used as a stand-alone meal, plus a dessert. The recipes showcase the unpretentiousness of the region and use ingredients that can be found in most North American grocery stores. Filice includes notes on her experience with all the recipes, tips on entertaining, a wine guide, pantry stocking suggestions, and a measurement guide. VERDICT Although this wonderful book is not essential for smaller library collections, it will appeal to foodies and cooks looking for effortless Italian cooking.-Ginny Wolter, Toledo-Lucas Cty. P.L..”

From L’Ora di Ottawa (June 7, 2010)

“L’opera di Maria Filice unisce le ricette della migliore tradizione culinaria italiana ed abruzzese ad un insieme di ricordi ed emozioni che la scrittrice italo-canadese ha vissuto in questa città. E’ anche un omaggio alle vittime del terremoto del 6 Aprile 2009, a persone che hanno accompagnato per lunghi anni i suoi numerosi viaggi in Italia e i momenti più importanti della sua storia d’amore con il defunto marito Paul Piccone, italo-americano orgoglioso nativo de L’Aquila. In Breaking Bread in L’Aquila Maria Filice raccoglie le sue ricette preferite ed offre preziosi e semplici consigli per chi si prepara ad offrire lauti pranzi e cene ad amici, colleghi, e parenti. Le parole d’ordine? Conosci i tuoi ospiti, falli sentire a loro agio, e prepara sempre cibo in abbondanza così che possano gustarne in quantità.”

From Bleeding Espresso (May 12, 2010)

Breaking Bread in L’Aquila would be an excellent addition to any cookbook collection as it is not only full of great recipes, it’s simply a gorgeous book. Even if you don’t cook, you’ll enjoy the photos! And if you need a gift, particularly for someone with an interest in Italian and/or southern Italian cuisine, this is perfect. I give this cookbook five extremely full espresso cups out of five; I couldn’t recommend it more.” (Read the full review here.)

From Aglio, Olio & Peperoncino (May 6, 2010)

“Maria Filice is an ardent fan of the city and traveled many times to L’Aquila, the hometown of her late husband, Paul Piccone. On their numerous travels there, Paul introduced Maria to San Biagio, a small and charming homestyle restaurant, owned by two brothers—Andrea and Luciano Carlofelice—experts in making customers happy with their warm smiles and their fresh, local, and incredibly tasty dishes. Breaking Bread in L’Aquila is inspired in part by those memorable meals, but even more so by a deep love for the joviality and warmth of shared hospitality. But above all, the book is inspired by the enduring love for Paul, the man who transformed Maria’s life. Breaking Bread in L’Aquila is, essentially, a delicious love letter.” (Read the full review here.)

From Thomson Shore: Book of the Month (April 2010)

Breaking Bread in L’Aquila by Maria Filice is an unequivocal joy. Not only does Filice welcome you into her private world with open arms, she makes you feel as if you can cook a multi-course Italian (dishes primarily from the Abruzzo region) dinner every single night of the week. And that’s because you can with her masterful, yet simple instruction. . . . If you’re looking for a touching story that spans generations, a guide to impressive and relaxed hosting, or a cookbook with authentic Abruzzo recipes, you have a combination of all three in this single volume. We can’t recommend it highly enough.” (Read the full review here.)

From Marina Melchionda, (April 25, 2010)

“Maria Filice non ha mai vissuto in Italia ma ha capito il vero segreto della cucina italiana: la semplicità degli ingredienti e della cottura che ne rispetti l’originale sapore ed aroma. La sua è un’opera importante non solo perchè permette al lettore americano di conoscere l’autentica tradizione culinaria abruzzese, essendo il libro pubblicato per ora solo in inglese, ma soprattutto perchè diventa simbolo di un abbraccio di fratellanza e solidarietà nei confronti di un popolo devastato, ma non sconfitto, dal terremoto.” (Read the full review here.)

From Partners Magazine (Spring 2010)

“Maria Filice’s favourite recipe is tried and true: combine excellent food, engaging company and delicious wine. Store the above in a warm, inviting atmosphere, marinate in stimulating conversation and serve. Her upcoming cookbook, Breaking Bread in L’Aquila, is more than a collection of recipes; it’s a guide to entertaining and it’s a love letter to her late husband’s hometown . . . ”

From (April 1, 2010)

” . . . Maria Filice, an ItalianNotebook reader, is now a published author. What’s makes Breaking Bread in L’Aquila extra special is its back story. It will be available on Tuesday, April 6th, on the anniversary of the Abruzzo earthquake. She was in L’Aquila (her late husband’s birthplace) in the aftermath of the earthquake when a woman begged her not to forget about the people of the city. She says it deepened her resolve to complete her book, as a reminder to readers of the Abruzzo region’s suffering. Maria, our highest praise to you. . . . take a bow.”

From The Upper North Side (April 1, 2010)

“Toronto native and first-time author Maria Filice delivers a heartfelt homage to the flavors of Italy’s Abruzzo region with Breaking Bread in L’Aquila. Filice demonstrates how, with creative plating, a simple recipe can look beautiful and taste delicious. The author’s warmth, humor, and savvy carry readers on a personal journey to one of the most beautiful areas of Italy’s countryside. The book’s April release commemorates the one-year anniversary of the earthquake that struck L’Aquila (the birthplace of Filice’s late husband, Paul Piccone). . . . ”

From Life in Abruzzo (March 23, 2010)

Breaking Bread in L’Aquila is the perfect Italian cookbook for those lacking a ‘nonna’ to pass down the mouth-watering, fresh & zingy recipes of L’Aquila, Abruzzo, and Southern Italy. This book’s author, and possibly your new best friend, the thoroughly modern NY-based signora Maria Filice, provides an effortlessly readable narrative. Superbly blending simple instruction with extensive background knowledge, the Italian-Canadian author stimulates curiosity and counters ignorance with each dish. The stunning photography entices you to keep turning the pages whilst sipping a glass of one of Abruzzo’s very drinkable wines and waiting for the water to boil so you can dunk your pasta for your Primo Piatti. . . . These are tried & tested recipes for those who want to impress with tasty & visually delightful dishes, but who don’t want to be tied to a stove and left feeling stretched & exhausted by the cooking process. Instead, you’ll be ready to share & enjoy each dish whilst catching up with friends & family like any good Abruzzesi.” (Read the full review here.)

From Thought Catalog (March 21, 2010)

Breaking Bread is not just a collection of wonderful recipes. It is an invitation to share in a way of life animated by pleasure and infused with joy. Integral to any Italian meal is an aura embracing the meal and its partakers, a sense that preparing and eating a meal with those we love is a spiritual experience, including not just present participants but those who once gathered around the table. How beautiful it is that the things of earth, water, and sun are transformed into a heavenly repast, a sacramental moment. When we break bread with others, we invite them to share in what might well be called a heavenly repast, or at least a foretaste of the banquet to come. With this love letter to her dear late husband, Maria Filice extends the invitation, in typical Italian style, to everyone.” (Read the full review here.)

From Robert-Gilles Martineau, Shizuoka Gourmet (March 15, 2010)

“When Maria Filice conceived this cookbook remarkable for its beautiful practicality she had love, simplicity and knowledge in mind. Love for the people living in the L’Aquila Region of Abruzzo, love for her late husband, Paul Piccone, who introduced her to their homey gastronomy, love for her guests past, present and future and love for ample, complete and delicious food. Simplicity in a book eminently utilitarian for all cooks and chefs, be they absolute beginners trying to please their loved ones or veteran chefs in search of inspiration back to the basics. Knowledge to be acquired about traditional ingredients, new taste combinations and forgotten wines for perfect pairing with her recipes. This cookbook ought to be left open at all times on the kitchen table of all Italian food lovers, and all food lovers for that matter.” (Read the full here.)