Perhaps the only thing that Italians know better than fashion is food, and since 1953, the Missoni family have been perfecting both. Spanning four generations of fashionable foodies, the Missoni family has cornered more than just the colorful, casual-yet-chic market. Their dinner parties have become one of the most coveted invitations of Milan fashion week, and now they are sharing their intimate family recipes with the world for the first time.
The combination of fashion and food have a long heritage with the Missoni family, something Francesco Maccapani Missoni, the son of Missoni’s creative director and author of the book, credits to the Missoni's success and why they're still a family-owned business after 65 years. Missoni creators Rosita and Ottavio "Tai" who launched the fashion house in Italy’s Lombardy province would invite both factory workers and family in to break for lunch each day and dine together.
Like their fashion brand, The Missoni Family Cookbook (Assouline, $50) is colorful, stylish, and eclectic. Part scrapbook and part memoir, the book offers a glimpse into the Missoni family life, one recipe at a time. Offered to the public for the first time, each recipe is attached to different family members, like Rosita Missoni’s mini pizza recipe or the calf liver that Ottavio Missoni used to cook for the family. Comprising of 240 pages and 130 recipes passed down from generation to generation, it took Francesco seven years to put several decades of memories into a succinct, family food album.
The recipes are offered with intimate images from the family’s personal archive; an iPhone photo of Missoni cooking at home and family portraits from group get-togethers complete the book's character. There is even a section dedicated to party food, which highlights all the desserts the Missonis bake for family celebrations.
As for the recipes, The Missoni Family Cookbook is comprised of gutsy and delicious concepts that are easy (according to Fancesco) to try at home. Some favorites include riso in cagnone con persico, a veal liver pâté, “Risi a Bisi” and scrambled eggs with olive oil and wild asparagus. Most of the recipes call for seasonal produce. “We are really seasonal, we eat what comes out of our garden,” said Maccapani Missoni. The family also tends to some 80 chickens.
With soulful Italian and fusion recipes spanning four generations, The Missoni Family Cookbook is an uncomplicated exploration of la cucina famiglia as experienced by Francesco. Featuring a foreword by Quincy Jones, the music producer, family friend, and Missoni devotee, this book is definitely a keeper. While many of us may never have the opportunity to dine at the Missoni family dinner table during fashion week, one of our own beloved Italian eateries will be offering the next best thing. Next Friday at at Sant Ambroeus you can enjoy a Missoni family inspired menu while previewing the brand’s 2018 High Summer Ready-to-Wear Collection. The event begins at 11:30 a.m. at 340 Royal Poinciana Way. For event tickets and information, contact 285-7990. See you there!