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Posted 03/09/2011

THE RECIPE HUNTER – A Casting Call

I spent the past few years using food as a vehicle to reach people’ souls. I am not a chef, I am just a delivery guy.

The food I cook is not the result of years spent working on the-line, nor I attended culinary school, and I still am not even remotely interested in opening a restaurant of my own. To me sharing the recipes I know and cook every day for my family is a way of telling you who I am and where I come from, in the most humble way… the way my grandmother taught me. I always have taken a lot of pride in my food heritage, and I consider myself extremely lucky for being the one in my family that now is in the position of passing our culinary history and traditions to the next generation. Indeed my daughters can tell you what I am talking about, as I recruited them at the kitchen counter as early as they both can remember. Evelina is now 8 and has an incredible palate, she is very critical and willing to try everything I bring to the dinner table, but she has no interest in cooking. Giulia is turning 5 this week, and she already handles with pride a 7″ chef’s knife (If she can play video games she can chop onions as well); she cooks everything with me, but she is willing to eat very few things, even when she prepares them: “I cooked it for you Babbo, I don’t like it!”.

I am an immigrant and I thrive to keep my family traditions alive in a foreign land, like many of you out there. Unless you are a Native American your blood and your gene-pool comes from a different place on this planet… so do your recipes!!! Continue Reading…

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Posted 03/09/2011

Caprese di Farro

Farro salad is a stable of any given Italian Summer; its freshness and lightness are perfect for a pic-nic or an evening appetizer, especially and if you happen to have a vegetable garden where to pick fresh Tomatoes and Basil.

There is much confusion or disagreement about what exactly farro is. Emmerspelt, and einkorn are called farro in Italy, sometimes, but not always, distinguished as farro medio, farro grande, and farro piccolo, respectively. Regional differences in what is grown locally and eaten as farro, as well as similarities between the three grains, may explain the confusion. Barley and farro may be used interchangeably because of their similar characteristics. Spelt is much more commonly grown in Germany and Switzerland and, though called dinkel there, is eaten and used in much the same way, and might therefore be considered farro. Common wheat may also be prepared and eaten much like farro, in which form it is often referred to as wheatberries. Continue Reading…

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Posted 03/07/2011

Supersize My Spirit, NOT ME!

Today, I was sitting on the couch after a day of the things we ALL do: email, follow up, planning out work projects, tweeting, FB ing, and in general working my mind into a LATHER as my body sat as inert as Joan Rivers’ forehead. Then the voice started…go upstairs and put on your shoes before it gets dark. You can’t play deaf or stupid when the noise is inside your head…I went for a hard thirty-five minute run during which all I did was think about what I was going to eat. Counterproductive? Not a chance!

I lost thirty pounds a few years ago and have kept most of them off; I have kept most of the WEIGHT of as well. There is a difference between weight and pounds. You must get rid of one before the other will be gone forever. Continue Reading…

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Posted 03/04/2011

Garlic, “The Stinking Rose”.

Garlic (allium sativum L.) What could be more Italian? And either you love it or you hate it. Garlic haters usually don’t like onions either and will doubtlessly appreciate the antique legend which reveals that when the devil was thrown out of paradise and came to earth his left foot touched the earth and sprouted garlic whilst his right foot brought forth onions. In fact, both plants belong to the lily or liliaceae family and certainly have a very distinctive odor. Continue Reading…

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Posted 03/04/2011

Farro Salad, special episode from the SoBe WFF in Miami

When I started posting videos on Youtube a few years ago I never thought it could have brought me this far… I just got back from a very intense three-days-food-marathon in Miami, where Debi and I attended the South Beach Wine and Food Festival for the very first time; it was the Oscars of Food, and everybody was there! It was a non stop kermess of flavors and laughs, attendance was at its best, and the perfect weather created the optimal conditions for the festival to unfold; Parties on the Beach, Burger Bashes, Cooking Demos and so much more.

I Was Scared!

As a professional musician I never feared the stage or the spotlight, and with Debi on my side I usually feel pretty confident about myself, no matter what. This time though it felt different; I had to talk, I had to explain, I had to entertain and involve my audience in a way I’ve never done before… using food instead of my drums. Also my bosses were there, you know I kind of like my new job, and really would like to keep it for the years to come; the pressure was on. Continue Reading…

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Posted 02/17/2011

Know Your Roosters!

Chianti,’ one of the most famous words in the wine world today, is the source of much confusion. Maybe you tasted a great Chianti wine at a restaurant but when you later bought a bottle of Chianti, it just didn’t taste the same. Or perhaps you tasted a Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, bought a Chianti DOCG and can’t figure out the difference. Are you on the trail of a Chianti DOCG or a Chianti Classico DOCG? And would that be from Panzano or from Gaiole? Or are you looking for a wine named Gaiolé (notice the accent mark)? Well, that one isn’t either a Chianti or a Chianti Classico but a Toscana IGT; Gaiole (no accent mark) is the name of one of the first Chianti wine-producing areas, renowned for its wine in the 1700s. Or perhaps you just want to drink a nice glass of wine from Florence and its surrounding area and would like to know what to choose? Continue Reading…

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Posted 02/17/2011

Boost Your Gardening Confidence with Easy Flowers and Vegetables

Growing your own food and flowers in your own yard, patio or deck is easy, fun and rewarding. Forget about any failures you’ve had in the past, those were just learning experiences you had to go through. I’m here to tell you that you can garden and it doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. Try some simple vegetables and plants from seed to boost your gardening confidence. Here are some veggies and flowers you can grow easily from seed, the best part is that they’re easy to find and don’t cost a lot of money per-pack to buy. Continue Reading…

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Posted 02/15/2011

Colonnata, City of Lardo

Some Italian delicacies don’t require much of a leap of faith. Newcomers to gelato, for instance, aren’t usually hesitant to taste their first spoonful – and pizza hardly needs an advocacy group. Lardo, on the other hand, isn’t always an easy sell.

To be frank, it’s usually a texture thing.

Italian lardo is cured pork fat – yes, the lard which the Italian word so closely resembles – and the most famous lardo comes from the Tuscan town of Colonnata, just outside Carrara. The lardo produced in Colonnata is only the second-most-famous export from the area, however – it’s a distant second, in fact, to the pristinely-white Carrara marble. And as it happens, the history of lardo di Colonnata is closely tied to the history of Carrara’s marble.

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Posted 02/11/2011

Introducing BOSCONI RECORDS, get your groove on! (free dj-set download)

(Check for a free DJ set download at the end of this post!)

I grew up with music, and for all my life it has been probably the only constant art form I have embraced completely in its fullness and its different expressions. My father was a professional musician, and while my friends at school (I am talking elementary here) were humming music from popular TV cartoons, I used to devour his collection of tapes, and occasionally scratch his vinyls! My heroes when I was about 7 or 8 years old were David Bowie, The Electric Light Orchestra, Stevie Wonder, Traffic (John Barleycorn Must Die was the tape I used to fall asleep with), The Cream, The Beatles and Elton John… before he started composing music for Disney Movies. My friends could not figure out what was wrong with me, I could care less, I was the only one that not even in my pre-teens was considered a music dinosaur, and needless to say my music choices really did not help catching the attention of girls… again, I really did not care much.

I started studying piano, and my house was already a little museum of 60′s keyboards; I used to practice on a Schultz and Pollman half coda piano, and always performed at school shows, sometimes with the help of my father, occasionally he would let me try his Hammond B3 organ or even better his Wurlitzer Electric Piano… shit, I still remember the pressure of learning songs from The Beatles that I would perform four hands with Dad in front of all my school mates (again, girls included), it was so hard to keep up, being that my dad was (is) a Surgeon and a Jew, and therefore very close to God in terms of personality… I remember it as if it was yesterday!

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