Wednesday, September 27, 2023

An Italian Palate is a Treat for the Eyes and Stomach

Robert St. John and Wyatt Waters
Robert St. John and Wyatt Waters

New cookbook from nationally celebrated Mississippi native chef-author-restaurateur is a delight for all the senses.

When Robert St. John decided to move to Italy for six months, he had one thing in mind: food.

“I was there for one purpose: to eat.,” said St. John. “Actually, I was there to learn about the cuisine and how to cook it, but the end result of that quest always ended at a dining table.”

The St. Johns decided to replace six months of their children’s conventional education with an extended tour of Europe and together they were rewarded with a priceless family experience. Taking in the history, arts, and architecture along the way, they ate their way through Italy in the best restaurants of Rome, Florence, Milan, as well as in the kitchens of new-found friends.

“True Italian cooking is uncomplicated, uses minimal, fresh ingredients, and in most cases is light and healthful,” said St. John. “This book contains authentic Italian dishes, American-Italian dishes, and hybrids of the two.”

St. John wasn’t alone in his travels. His best friend, watercolor artist Wyatt Waters, spent ten weeks in Italy transferring his vision to his heavy watercolor paper at the rate of two a day.

“Wyatt was there for one reason, too: to paint, and paint he did,” said St. John. “In the 10-week span, he completed 129 watercolors for consideration in this book. My job was to drive Wyatt to a location in the morning — sometimes we knew where we wanted to go, other times we didn’t—and drop him off to paint. Once he was in position, I dove headfirst into the culinary culture of Italy.”

The 163-page book holds the perfect combination of what St. John and Waters do best: creative and accessible recipes, beautiful works of art, and St. John’s engaging food columns.

**Robert St. John an Wyatt Waters will sign copies of An Italian Palate at Square Books on Friday, November 15 at 5p.m.**

an italian palate

–Emily Gatlin, Editor-in-Chief,