Grapefruit Confit

Candy-making can sometimes be a time-consuming process. For this grapefruit confit, it took several days. I first boiled the bitterness out, then rinsed, soaked, rinsed and soaked again over a period of days before adding sugar.

Rabbit in the Pot

My mother was a housewife.  She didn’t go out and work at a job as most women do now.  Her job was her, home, her family and her children.  She was what was then considered to be a normal Italian woman.  She was also very practical.  She’d been through World War II and had experienced hunger in a way I hope to never know.  Those wartime years contributed to her practicality and waste not, want not attitude.  She was doing the organic and sustainable thing long before it was a thing....

Melanzane al Funghetto

Eggplant is a big part of Italian cooking and one of my favorite ways to eat it is roasted like this in a copper pot. The eggplant takes on some of the characteristics of mushrooms, hence its name. This was one of my mother's favorite ways of making eggplant.

Clams & Zucchini

This is another one of those simple, yet delicious recipes that is easy to prepare, yet elegant when plated. The squash adds color and sweetness to the clams, making something simple seem complex.

Her Copper Pot

We near closer to Mother's Day here in America and I have been thinking about my mother a lot.  I always do, but lately, perhaps because I have decided to do a book of her recipes, she has been more present in my mind.  What I am remembering today is her copper pot....

Risi e Bisi

Food is my life.   My fascination with it began at a very young age and my childhood memories of it are profound. I am fifty-six years old and thousands of miles away from the little town in Northern Italy where I grew up, but walking in the Farmer’s Market during Springtime and seeing fresh pea shoots, snap peas, peas of any kind instantly takes me back in time and place.  I am a young boy again and back in my mother’s garden picking peas for her delicious risi e bisi....

Thinking Out of the Box

As a cook, sometimes you must think out of the box. Everything has not already been invented. If you want to be innovative, you must think differently. For example, a simple braised cabbage with molasses-oatmeal cookies. Cookies? That is what my guest said the other night when I took two of the molasses cookies she'd made and began stuffing braised cabbage in between two of the soft, pliable baked goods. Her look was skeptical, even almost disgusted so I broke off a piece of cookie, handed ...

A Weeknight Vegan Meal

At the restaurant where I work, I often cook meat and fatty foods.  As a chef, I taste everything all the time.  I am constantly tasting to ensure the quality in my dishes.  This week, for example, I will be preparing a suckling pig - high in fat, most definitely meat, but I aspire to live a healthier life.  I cannot be a full vegan or even a vegetarian, but on the days I am off or when I have a chance, I scale it back and create a meal of vegetables.  Tonight was such a night. I began ...