Cucina Simpatica is one of a handful of books that have survived the numerous apartments, roommates, and developmental stages since my early twenties. It quickly became a prized possession, one that I made sure to keep with me even when leaving countless other books behind. Killeen and Germon, who both trained as artists at the Rhode Island School of Design, are insistent that the experience of creating and sharing food is the same as the experience of making art. While I may find that argument a little simplistic, I like the ideas behind it: the authors are advocating for a dissolving of barriers between disciplines. Food, art, music—they share similar goals of providing pleasure, a forum for discussion, and stimulating new thoughts and ideas. It's a philosophy of food that I easily relate to, and one that was, in that decade, a little bit ahead of its time. Add to it a collection of recipes that emphasize seasonality, local food, and quality ingredients, and it makes for a book that was very much ahead of its time.