Max Tucci to host author talk at Ruth Keeler Library for his new book, “The Delmonico Way”
“I love to eat, I love to create, and I love to story tell. Those are my ingredients for a successful party,“ says North Salem resident Max Tucci, author of the forthcoming book “The Delmonico Way: Sublime Entertaining and Legendary Recipes from the Restaurant That Made New York,” published by Rizzoli New York. Tucci is not a chef but his book seeks to carry on the legacy his grandfather, Oscar Tucci, built as the restaurateur of Delmonico’s, one of New York City’s most historic and desirable dining destinations.
On Sunday, October 16, Tucci will host an author talk at the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, giving locals a pre-release sneak peek into the book and how it came to be. Like the storied Delmonico’s restaurant, the book is not just one thing. Rather, it is equal parts history book, family heirloom and aspirational guide for those who are passionate about entertaining.
Tucci says readers can expect to find a host of “culinary treasures” throughout the book – everything from the iconic wedge salad Oscar Tucci created to a modern take on a Baked Alaska, cocktail recipes, and tips for how to host a power lunch that will wow your guests.
“Between cocktails and food we have about 75 recipes,” Tucci says. “We’ve taken classics and modernized them,” he adds, noting that he curated menus from over the decades, choosing ones he thought were simple, fun and doable. Then, he found celebrity chefs to apply their own takes to the classic recipes. Carla Hall, an American chef who appeared on Top Chef, gives her take on pumpkin cheesecake. Chef Amy Simpson, who opened the acclaimed Jack Rabbit Moon restaurant in Lake Tahoe, contributed a chilled tomato soup.
“Each recipe had intention,” Tucci says, though he notes the book aims to be more of a motivational guide for warm hospitality, great food and delicious cocktails.
Interspersed throughout the book are ephemera that Tucci inherited from his family. Among them: the restaurant’s liquor license from 1937, interior shots of the restaurant’s dining room through the decades, a luncheon menu from 1942, and a picture of young Max Tucci, clad in a chef’s hat and apron, holding a carving fork and beaming with pride.
The "Delmonico Way," Tucci says, “all goes back to passing the torch to me, and also the understanding that I am the keeper of Delmonico’s. I had this childhood of growing up in the most magical of restaurant spaces in the world. Delmonico's entertained everyone….Mark Twain, Nikola Tesla, presidents and royalty...”
Yet for all the glamor that Delmonico’s was known for, Tucci says what he really wants people to take away from the book is a feeling of self-worth and an appreciation for family. “Guests are not going to remember the food, more or less. Maybe the wine,” he says. “Definitely not the patterns of the dishes. But definitely they will remember how they were treated.”
“The Delmonico Way” is available for pre-order and will release on November 1. A limited number of signed copies will be available for purchase at the Ruth Keeler author talk, scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 16.