Cooks with Books: Nancy Silverton with Ryan DeNicola - Chi Spacca (Insalata's, San Anselmo)

Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 6:30pm

Presented by Book Passage at Insalata's, San Anselmo
Tickets: $140 (includes meal, wine, tax, tip, and a signed copy of Chi Spacca)

Meal planned and prepared by co-author and chi SPACCA Executive Chef Ryan DeNicola

In Chi Spacca, her first meat-centric cookbook, Nancy Silverton ("Queen of L.A.'s restaurant scene" —Los Angeles Times) shares the secrets of cooking like an Italian butcher with recipes for meats, fish, and vegetables that capture the spirit of Italy. Drawing on her years of living and cooking in Umbria, Italy, and from the menu of her revered steakhouse, Chi Spacca (hailed as a "meat speakeasy" by Food & Wine), Silverton, and Chi Spacca's executive chef Ryan DeNicola, present their take on such mouth-watering dishes as Beef Cheek and Bone Marrow Pie; Coffee-Rubbed Tri-Tip; Fried Whole Branzino with Pickled Peppers and Charred Scallions; and Moroccan Braised Lamb Shanks. And vegetable dishes are given just as much attention, from fire-kissed Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Green Garlic Crème Fraîche; Charred Sugar Snap Peas with Yogurt, Guanciale, and Lemon Zest; Little Gems with Herb Breadcrumbs, Bacon Vinaigrette, and Grated Egg; Roasted Beets with Chicories, Yogurt, and Lemon Zest. Also included are Silverton's own spins on steakhouse classics such as Caesar salad, creamed corn, and mashed potatoes, as well as desserts—including, of course, her beloved butterscotch budino.

Nancy Silverton is the co-owner of Osteria Mozza, Pizzeria Mozza, Chi Spacca, and Mozza2Go, in Los Angeles, Singapore, and Newport Beach, California. She is the founder of the La Brea Bakery and the only chef ever to be awarded both the Outstanding Chef and Outstanding Pastry Chef awards from the James Beard Foundation. She lives in Los Angeles.

Born and raised in Southern California, Ryan DeNicola was taught the importance of quality ingredients at an early age. Ryan started his professional career as a dishwasher in Santa Ana and quickly raised the ranks to line cook. After high school, Ryan attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park where he received an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts. After working his way through kitchens in Nantucket, New York and Las Vegas, Ryan moved back to LA, where worked in kitchens of restaurants from casual concepts to fine dining at Son of a Gun, Animal, and Michael’s. Ryan eventually landed on the corner of Melrose and Highland, where he opened chi SPACCA under the tutelage of Nancy Silverton and Chad Colby. It is there that Ryan has discovered his true love for butchery and charcuterie. After two years at chi SPACCA, Ryan worked as Chef de Cuisine at Pizzeria Mozza, ultimately returning to chi SPACCA where he can now be found wielding a cleaver as Executive Chef.


Our award-winning Cooks with Books events are held at outstanding Bay Area restaurants. The meal is inspired by the author/chefs who discuss their cookbooks with guests throughout the meal. These are happy, convivial events that often sell out quickly, so don’t wait to register! Event tickets include the meal, wine, tip, and a signed copy of the book.


Insalata's Restaurant
120 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
San Anselmo, CA 94960