Why I Cook


By Tom Colicchio

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$45.00 CAD

Get an unprecedented look inside the mind and kitchen of America’s top chef in this memoir and cookbook by Tom Colicchio, the multiple-James Beard and Emmy Award-winning chef, restaurateur, and television personality.

Tom Colicchio cooked his first recipe at 13 years old—a stuffed eggplant from an issue of Cuisine magazine that he picked up out of boredom—and it changed his life. Now for the first time ever, Tom recounts the extraordinary personal journey that brought him from his working-class Italian background in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to the award-winning kitchens of New York City’s best restaurants, to the set of Top Chef and the stage of the Emmy Awards. Through 10 memoir chapters and 60 recipes, Why I Cook shares Tom’s personal reflections of more than 40 years behind the stove. From pre-dawn fishing excursions with his grandfather to running the flat-top at the snack shack of the local swim club, to finding his way as a young chef in New York City, Tom chronicles the dishes and memories that make up the course of his extraordinary life. Along the way Tom reveals his struggle growing up with undiagnosed ADHD, his earliest mistakes in professional kitchens, stories from his time on Top Chef, and so much more. The recipes, which reconnect Tom to home cooking—his first love—are a combination of current Colicchio family favorites, such as Warm Eggplant Salad with Ginger, Chilis, and Fresh Herbs, and heirloom recipes passed down from Tom’s parents and grandparents, like his mother’s Crab Rice and his grandfather’s Beet Salad. Through these meaningful dishes, gorgeous recipe shots, and images from Tom’s childhood, Why I Cook is the most personal look into Tom’s life yet.


On Sale
Oct 1, 2024
Page Count
304 pages

Tom Colicchio

About the Author

Tom Colicchio is an 8-time James Beard Award-winning chef, and the owner of Crafted Hospitality, which includes New York City’s Craft, Temple Court, and Vallata; Las Vegas’ Craftsteak; and Small Batch in Garden City, New York. Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Tom made his New York cooking debut at prominent restaurants including The Quilted Giraffe, Gotham Bar & Grill, and Gramercy Tavern before opening Craft in 2001.
A vocal and outspoken social justice advocate, Tom executive produced the 2013 documentary A Place at the Table about the underlying causes of hunger in the United States. This eye-opening experience led Tom on a journey to Washington, D.C. where he has been a mainstay in our nation’s capital in the years since. From holding members of Congress accountable on their voting records around food to working with former FLOTUS Michelle Obama on the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, Tom has established himself as the leading “Citizen Chef” advocating for a food system that values access, affordability, and nutrition over corporate interests.
Tom is a frequent contributor on several television shows and networks, including MSNBC, CNN, ABC, and Bloomberg and is the host of the iHeart Radio podcast, Citizen Chef. Tom is the head judge and executive producer of the Emmy-winning Bravo hit series, Top Chef. He is the host and executive producer of a new interactive cooking show, The Pantry, on Spirits Network.
Tom lives in Brooklyn with his wife and their three sons. When not in the kitchen, Tom can be found tending his North Fork, Long Island garden, fishing, or playing guitar.

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