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Volume 37 Issue 14 • July 26 - Aug 1, 2007 now in our 37th season

Sharing Food and Philosophy

In 1979, Don DeMarco pursued a dream and opened DeMarco Restaurant at 9 India Street.  Hard work, attention to quality and detail, and plenty of warm hospitality during the next twenty-eight years has made DeMarco a favorite among Nantucket residents and visitors.  Patrons adore the top-notch Northern Italian cuisine and the superb wine list.  In his newly released book, Nantucket Taste Memories: The DeMarco Restaurant Cookbook, Don DeMarco shares his philosophy on food and family, his experiences (both good and bad) in opening and running a restaurant, advice for budding restaurateurs, and his favorite recipes.

DeMarco describes his book as “the story of one restaurant that could apply to many successful restaurants and businesses driven by the human spirit.”  It incorporates his thoughts on food and family and the importance of sharing ‘round the table:  “I didn’t want to write a book on how to roast a chicken, so it’s really a people and food book...about gathering of family...the inspiration comes from my family and my wife’s family — the best times I’ve ever had are around the family table—if this tradition is lost, much more will be at stake than just the taste of good food.”

This beautifully illustrated book has thirty different intriguing sections, including “Our Table,” “Layered Legends,” “Food and Art,” “Food and Thought,” “Don’t Be Afraid,” and “A Nantucket Foreign Policy Lesson,” as well as more than 60 recipes. 

Anyone who knows Don DeMarco will recognize his voice, his bright personality, and his unflagging energy in this book.  The amount of information he imparts to his readers is as compelling as the personal anecdotes he shares.  Anyone planning to or just dreaming of opening a restaurant will find value in DeMarco’s advice and his real-life examples that illustrate that advice.

Patrons of DeMarco Restaurant will be delighted that Don has shared so many prized recipes, such as Lobster Cannelloni, Earthy Mushroom Soup, Chestnut Pappardelle with Scallion Pesto Sauce, Old World Sunday Spaghetti Sauce, Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp, and DeMarco’s popular “Badly Cut” Pasta with Boscaiola Sauce.  All are scaled for the home kitchen and easy to follow.

DeMarco sums up Nantucket Taste Memories by saying: “the nights spent dining with my friends at my table in Nantucket, looking out onto the lantern lit cobblestones of India Street, are woven into a tapestry of treasured memories and images...”  Thank you, Don, for sharing them with us.

Nantucket Taste Memories: The DeMarco Restaurant Cookbook is available online at and in Mitchell’s Book Corner on Main Street, Nantucket Bookworks at 25 Broad Street, at Nantucket Gourmet on India Street, and at DeMarco Restaurant.

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