Best Picks of The Month

The night before the pandemic lockdown in NYC, two best friends attempt to cook an ultimate last meal out of a set of extremely rare and funky cookbooks. Cardboard covered and filled with psychedelic illustrations, hand written recipes, and more spell book then cookbook, the “In Bocca” series was something that they had been collecting since teenagers. Now, the set of 20 finally complete and with the world shutting down they decide the best way to celebrate is a tremendous meal, and put their non-chef skills to the test to makes some of the more intereresting dishes.

What transpired was more then either could have expected. Going to the best local specialty shops in the city, the connected with the food and people in a different way then they could have imagined. Back in the kitchen they found flavors and history they had never known. These books became more then simple cookbooks, they were a bridge to a culture and friendship that doesn’t happen very often.

In the weeks after during lockdown, filmmaker Roberto Serrini casually started cutting together the simple home movie without realizing the story it contained. As Italy was ravished by the pandemic in the early days, the film took on a new tone, a cry for help, to assist a culture that had given him and so many people so much joy. After it’s completion, a campaign was launched with the film to help raise money through multiple foundations for those in need from the pandemic, both in Italy and later, globally. Celebrity chefs and epicurean royalty jumped on zooms with Serrini to help share their voice and bring awareness to the grave issues at hand. A website was built as requests for the books and information on how to help came in. A blog was launched with a continual flow of new content, both about the series, recipes from the book, and amazing interviews with the original publishers and illustrators. Serrini and Boggia really can’t wrap their heads around what this one night has turned into, just two friends making dinner, one with a camera the other with a book collection. While the subject was heavy, the joy these books and this film brings to people shines through, as everyone could use a little trip to Italy right now, even if it is just in your mouth.