Luca d’Italia iCookbook from Frank Bonanno

If you care at all about food and live in Colorado, you have absolutely heard of Frank Bonanno. If you haven’t, you’re living under a rock.

Sicilian and New Jersey born, Bonanno owns 8 Denver restaurants and is an iconic chef, author and restauranteur. With Bonanno’s East Coast style and attitude, to his insatiable drive by building 8 unique concepts (no two of his restaurants are similar) to his longtime experience in the restaurant industry, Bonanno has lauched his second cookbook The Luca d’Italia Cookbook built for digital format (available on iPad or computer with iTunes).

Recently, Bonanno invited a group of us to his Italian restaurant Luca d’Italia in Denver, to enjoy some of the home style Italian dishes and drinks, he has featured in the cookbook. Let me indulge you…

Assorted salumi and cheese plate including Luca’s melt-in-your-mouth burrata

Sicilian calamari with caper berries

Lobster fra diavolo

Brick chicken with panzanella salad

Wild mushroom fusilli

Tiramisu & house lemoncello

Note: Many of these dishes and serving utensils came straight from Bonnano’s home kitchen while we ate at Luca. It’s how he likes to roll but the personal touch with each of these incredible dishes, was just right.

After these dishes that reminded me of the way my own Italian / Sicilian family cooked, I couldn’t wait to recreate the dishes.

As I dug into the cookbook on my iPad (available for $6.99) I loved the digital, interactive format including images and over 2 hours of video across the 146-page cookbook. Call me old school, but this is my first digital cookbook and I’m loving the format.

I took a few screen shots from my own iPad so you could see the intro and some of the recipe pages and videos.

The videos in the cookbook includes Bonanno cooking the dishes step-by-step, sharing tips and knife skills. A favorite touch? The videos are filmed in Bonanno’s home kitchen and peppered throughout you can find video also from Luca d’Italia chef Hunter Pritchett and mixologists from Bonanno restaurants.

With over 70 recipes, most are accessible and meant to be done with the materials you would have in your kitchen or ingredients that aren’t too far fetched. The chapters are broken down from Antipasto, to Cheeses and Accompaniments, to Pasta, to Primi, to Dolci, to Mixology, to Sauces, to Skills.

At $6.99, this is a steal and well worth the price. A lot of cookbooks leave you hanging as you aren’t sure how the dish is supposed to look but with the inclusion of videos that are step-by-step you have a little more guidance. Not to mention, you get access to a local food legend and recipes you might love at Luca. You can purchase the cookbook on iTunes here.