Kochfreunde.com is the culinary magazine of Oliver Wagner. Here, everything revolves around the almost most beautiful thing in the world: good food. The focus ranges from reports on exciting restaurants to recipes from his own kitchen, cookbooks and culinary gadgets.


Kochfreunde.com ist das kulinarisches Magazin von Oliver Wagner. Hier dreht sich alles rund um die beinahe schönste Sache der Welt: Gutes Essen. Dabei reicht der Fokus von Berichten über spannende Restaurants bis hin zu Rezepten aus der eigenen Küche, Kochbücher und kulinarische Gadgets.

Jacob Kenedy: The Bocca Cookbook

The already summer-warming spring sun of southern Italy above me, a glass of cold white wine next to me on the table – and directly in front of me the Bocca cookbook by Jacob Kennedy. A perfect little rest during our stay in Cilento.

But really, the place where you read Bocca doesn’t matter much, because Kennedy succeeds almost immediately in taking the reader along on his journey through Italy. For over a year he traveled the country from north to south, always looking for typical local recipes, products and preparations. In the most pleasant way, stories and recipes, anecdotes and product reviews blur together. Kennedy’s recipes, however, go well beyond the classics of Italian cuisine and lead the reader to entirely new ideas and creations.

Wild Asparagus - Sperlonga Italy - Booca book | by Howard Sooley
Wild Asparagus – Sperlonga Italy – Booca book | by Howard Sooley

Perhaps the best Italian cookbook?

He spent a little more than a year traveling through Italy, taking a close look at the different regions, especially from a culinary point of view. Very similar to the classic Ricette di Osterie d’Italia, the recipes in the Bocca Cookbook are always directly linked to the destination of origin. It is always fascinating to see how much Italy’s cuisine varies from north to south and how (and especially why) certain corners of the country are home to completely different forms of preparation.

In London, Kenedy has been running the restaurant Bocca di Lupo for several years, which has since made a good name for itself for authentic, but also sometimes very unusual dishes. Some of them also come directly from this excursion phase in Italy and are therefore also part of the cookbook in a similar form.

Market - San Casciano val di Pesa - Booca book | by Howard Sooley
Market – San Casciano val di Pesa – Booca book | by Howard Sooley

It is better to omit a component that is not absolutely necessary instead of adding yet another element. Such is one of Kenedy’s maxims. The reduction to the essentials, to the true essence of a dish. Of course, this is only possible with perfect products.

In Italy, a few hours after reading the book, I followed his advice directly and purchased wonderful lardo from the butcher next door, sliced paper-thin and served with chopped nuts and a touch of lemon zest. Simple. But perfect in its own way. And certainly not to be reduced further.

Lardo con nocciole
Lardo con nocciole

Of course, the other recipes in the book go much further, but the focus on the few central products always remains the same.

Kenedy: Bocca – Cookbook
480 pages
Language: English
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Published 11 May 2011
Price: € 36

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Tim Raue, Berlin (2014)

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