2014 Jack Ricchiuto
DesigningLife Books
120p Paperback $14.95 US
Forward by Dante Boccuzzi, DanteBoccuzzi.com

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"The conversation here is about  enjoying more variety in our cooking. At the heart of variety is cooking with an intention to improvise. I find that people who love cooking love improvising in the kitchen. They enjoy the art of transforming what's available into what's possible. They are more versatile with simple ingredients. Their cooking, eating and life reach new levels of vitality."

From the Invitation

Both practical and poetic, Beyond Recipes is really about being at home with cooking at home.
                                                                                                                Award winning poet Scott Edward Anderson

In Beyond Recipes, 16-time author Jack Ricchiuto explores how to go beyond being intimidated or constrained by recipes so we can discover the possibility of cooking with more variety. Beginning with a single ingredient, we can cook up dishes of unplanned delights.

The book is rich in ideas, principles and inspiration.

Develop your cooking profile 
Discover how food works
Create an agile kitchen
Improvise with what you have
Cook for variety, versatility and vitality

Host Your Own Beyond Recipes Dinner Party

The Beyond Recipes Dinner Party is a wonderful experience in improvisation, collaboration and celebration. 8-10 people bring together their choice of raw ingredients, imagine the combination possibilities and cook amazing new dishes together. The intention is to create a unique space where people can share their love of improvisational cooking, beyond recipes. People take away enriched connections, mindful cooking and inspired ideas. The experience is based on the observation that liberated cooking is core to personal and social well-being. Contact Jack to explore  Beyond Recipes Dinner Parties for your friends or team. Email Jack at Jack@JackRicchiuto.com for Guidelines to host your own Beyond Recipes Dinner Party.


When it comes to the what and the how of cooking, Jack has everything covered in this informative culinary guide book. You will feel inspired.

As a chef of 20 years, I wish someone would have explained to me these basic, easy steps to approach the fundamentals of cooking when I began. Much of what you will learn can also be applied beyond the kitchen, as daily life suggestions.

I have seen it through my own career. I have worked around the world, and even to this day, I am inspired. I improvise and learn something every time I step into a kitchen. The kitchen is the land of opportunity with no boundaries and endless miles of exploration.

As a chef, I challenge myself to create. A great restaurant is founded on improvisation. I believe the key to improvisation is trust. You need relax and trust in yourself and your instincts. To become a better cook or chef, all you need to do is experiment, taste and take good notes. Then expand your notes and build your repertoire.  Most importantly, don’t forget to share your experiences with someone you care about. You will quickly see the power of food and cooking.

Dante Boccuzzi
November 2014



Cooking as transformation

The art of cooking improvisation 
The 5 principles
Simple beginnings
In life, as in cooking

The heart of cooking

Taking cooking personally
Your cooking profile
5 reasons not to follow recipes (exactly)
Finding time

Getting inspired

Cooking as teacher
Inspiration sources
Recipe riffs
The art of branching out
Cultivating intuition
The charm of grandmothers

How food works

Reclaiming authorship of our cooking
12 agile dishes
Beauty and truth in cooking
The magic of taste contrasts
Color and texture contrasts
Bland and zing: Intensity contrasts
Ingredient friendships
Seasons across cultures and cuisines

The agile kitchen

Seasoning combinations
3 ingredient dishes
Improv cakes
Dressings, sauces, gravies and broths
The pantry challenge

The art of prep

Shopping improv
Pantry management 101
24 pantry basics
Tool essentials
Preparation vocabulary
Cooking media
Jars and cans
Simplifying prep

Mindful cooking

The power of mindfulness
The art of tasting
The science of doneness

Cooking for wellbeing

Mind, body and spirit
Healthy habits
Transition to healthy
Organic, really? Really.
Puzzle to plate

Celebrating food

Simple deserts and snacks
Breakfast improv
Cooking for 1, 2 and many
Crowdsourced cookery
Handmade food

Be transformed

Visit the Guide page to discover your Cooking Profile, examples of 12 Agile Dishes and 24 Pantry Basics that every improvisational kitchen should have. All three sections are excerpts from the book.

Follow and share your own improvs on Instagram: #BeyondRecipes