Justin Smillie learned Italian food from a Californian master, Jonathan Waxman, and honed his rustic flavors in stylish New York City kitchens. He's also a seafood and vegetable fanatic whose signature dish is an arm-length slow-roasted short rib with olives and walnuts. His food is just as complex as his story, but at its heart are simple techniques done well. He teaches us the difference between hard-searing a cut for roasting versus a modest browning for a delicate braise, and how to gently steam fish to tenderness or hard-grill it for firm, juicy flesh. This is a classic cookbook for modern tastes. Drawing inspiration from Italy and beyond, these recipes teach us not only how to cook but how to truly understand the philosophy of heat.