My first venture into writing books was a collaboration with my then-wife. She was a children’s book editor at a major publishing house in Chicago. We wrote two books, Look Who’s Cooking and The Cookie Cookbook. After years as a designer, art director, and creative director, in Chicago I moved back to Cape Cod, where I had a summer home, and transitioned into the food world. I started writing food features for the Boston Globe and styled the photos. It was a natural progression for me to become a food stylist. After high school, I studied art, painting, and design at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. This gave me a background in the visual arts. As a food stylist, I used the plate as my canvas for color, shapes, taste, and textures. In the Boston area, no photographer would hire me because I did not have a portfolio.

(My first solo book, on food styling, was the first devoted to the topic. Click here for more on food styling.)

Food, cooking and restaurants reflect the spirit of Cape Cod, the people who live there, and their many cultures and cuisines. Culinary traditions here are firm, but there is a dynamic food/dining evolution taking place––from the finest white tablecloth restaurants to homey mom and pop cafes, and chic new eateries. Great Food Finds Cape Cod features recipes for the home cook from the region's most celebrated eateries alongside beautiful photography.

Great Food Finds Cape Cod:
Delicious Food from the Region’s Top Eateries

Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is a 70-mile peninsula divided into 15 towns. It is one of the easternmost points of land in the U.S., with its hooked arm jutting out 40 miles into the Atlantic Ocean. Some of the towns date back to the 1600s, and each has its own unique personality, history, and gastronomic adventure.

I’m a local, having been born in Sagamore, the first town you encounter after you cross the Cape Cod Canal over the aptly named Sagamore Bridge. I started my journey for this book here, in the area I know so very well. I grew up in an Italian family in an Italian neighborhood. Food was, and still is, a big part of my DNA. The memories of my childhood are full of what we now call organic, local, and living off the land. It was a way of life. All the neighbors, including my grandparents, had vegetable and flower gardens, chickens, grape arbors for making homemade wine, and some even had pigs in their backyards. The huge resurgence and interest in organic and local farming in many parts of our country has reached the Cape, and chefs are connecting with farmers and growers and using many of their products. It’s more of a challenge here because the growing season is short, but many of the Cape’s chefs are creating foods that more than meet that challenge. In the past several years, I’ve observed how the Cape’s culinary landscape has changed. There are still the delicious fried clams, fresh broiled or grilled fish, and lobster rolls that have always been favorites, but many of today’s chefs are reinventing these traditional favorites with a slightly different twist. It’s my hope that this book will give readers, locals, and visitors a new perspective on what the Cape has to offer for a culinary experience. Each town has its own history and a unique food to experience.

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Great Italian American Food in New England

Great Italian American Food in New England:
History Memories & Traditions

The ultimate book of recipes and nostalgia for Italian-Americans in the Northeast. With this book, I have been fortunate to meet many Italian-Americans throughout New England who experienced their heritage much as I did growing up in postwar Sagamore Village. Many still want, as I do, to reinstate and perpetuate family traditions that nearly have been lost. Some of these traditions were things they experienced directly; others were handed down as family lore. Among Italian immigrants, the family played a major and complex role, both in America and back in the old country, Italy. In America, the family gave immigrants a sense of security in an unfamiliar land. Their traditions, family ties, friends, and communities created a bond that kept them together. Today, Italians love to reminisce about their experiences growing up.

This book samples and explores the Italian heritage in New England. It is a cookbook with history, interviews, memories, special features, and the recipes of Italian-Americans. Some of the recipes are hand-written in the immigrants’ own words and dialect; others follow the traditional standard recipe format. This book embodies the dreams of a community connected through traditions and food experiences.

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A review of Great Italian American Food in New England: History, Traditions, & Memories, by John Carafoli, in The Italian American Reader

“Filled with stories to warm your heart and recipes to warm your belly, Great Italian American Food in New England is something more besides. By chronicling the history of this six-state community at table, it makes a fine contribution to our appreciation of eating as identity, culture, and heritage.”

— Cara de Silva, author of In Memory’s Kitchen: A Legacy from the Women of Terezin

Cape Cod Chef’s Table
Extraordinary Recipes From Buzzards Bay To Provincetown

Cape Cod is, roughly, a 70-mile peninsula in Massachusetts divided into fifteen towns, each with its own unique personality, history, and gastronomic adventure. Cape Cod’s culinary landscape is evolving. Yes, there are still the delicious fried clams, fresh broiled or grilled fish, and lobster rolls that have always been favorites, but many of today’s chefs are reinventing these traditional foods with a twist. Today’s Cape presents a thriving and unique culinary landscape, and Cape Cod Chef’s Table gives readers, locals, and visitors a new perspective on this culinary scene.

Cape Cod Chef’s Table gathers the Cape’s best chefs, restaurants, farmers, and purveyors under one roof, featuring recipes for the home cook from the Cape’s most celebrated eateries and showcasing beautiful full-color photos of mouth-watering dishes, award-winning chefs, and the stunning landscape of Cape Cod.>

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Food Styling And Photography
How to Prepare, Light, and Photograph Delectable Food And Drinks

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