It’s easy to attach yourself to any one of Tessa Kiros’ cookbooks. They are created from Kiros’ heart and life experiences as the daughter of a Finnish mother and a Greek-Cypriot father and as a woman who grew up in South Africa and cooked in London, Australia, Greece and Mexico. Kiros’ bio will tell you that she met her husband, Giovanni, on a trip to Italy to study language and food and that she and Giovanni live in Tuscany with their two daughters. However, what you will glean from her cookbooks is that Kiros is a romantic, witty and deeply passionate person who is in love with her family, her craft and the places she has lived – both past and present. Kiros’ newest cookbook, “Recipes and Dreams from an Italian Life” is focused on the cuisine of old Italy and dedicated “to all of the wonderful matriarchs I have been lucky to meet.” The book’s introduction, in fact, lavishly heaps praise upon Kiros’ mother-in-law, Wilma, whom Kiros credits, along with many other women who “roam freely about,” for the inspiration behind her book’s brilliant collage of recipes, stories and photographs by Manos Chatzikonstantis. You will particularly enjoy the way Kiros provides directions for her recipes. “When they’re cool enough to handle, slip off the skins—they should come away like silk dresses,” is the way Kiros describes the removal of peach skins for her “Lemon Verbena Peaches & Cream” recipe. And, for Kiros’ recipe for Fish with Escarole, Olives & Capers,” Kiros writes, “Try to get a compact escarole that looks like it has been to a neat hairdresser, rather than a wild one.” Kiros’ cookbooks are like poetry to me – an art form lush with intensity, emotion and dreams. For purchase information, visit the Andrews McMeel Publishers website at www.andrewsmmeel.com, retailers where books are sold, or on-line sources such as amazon.com.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.