I became infatuated with cooking as a teenager, drawing inspiration from my Southern Italian–American family’s kitchen. I began turning out inappropriately large quantities of eggplant Parmigiano, calzones, Christmas cookies, and anchovy foccacia, sometimes, to the mystification of my parents, at three or four in the morning.
After a brief stint in journalism school and a chunk of time attempting to become a great American playwright (the one play I had produced was a comedy about cooking), I returned to my first and true love and began cooking at restaurants, including Le Madri and Florent in Manhattan, and attending the New York Restaurant School.
With the itch to write still brewing and my muscles aching from working the line, I eventually began selling articles on Italian cooking, first to Food & Wine magazine (where I also worked in their test kitchen), and then to The New York Times, Gourmet, Fine Cooking, and other publications. I also wrote a monthly food column for Marie Claire magazine.
I continued to share my love of Italian cooking with my first book, Pasta Improvvisata, which was published by Scribner in 1999 and was singled out for praise by The New York Times in its twice-yearly cookbook roundup. That was followed by Pasta, for Williams-Sonoma, and The Flavors of Southern Italy, published by John Wiley & Sons in 2005, which was chosen by both Publishers Weekly and Food & Wine as one of the best cookbooks of the year. I also contributed many Italian food recipes to a new edition of The Joy of Cooking and to a number of Food & Wine publications. I’m currently working on an Italian herb cookbook and a collection of essays on Italian flavor combinations, as well as writing a monthly column for MyCurves, the online magazine for Curves Fitness. I also write articles on the Mediterranean diet for Weight Watchers.
My blog contains hundreds of classic and improvisational recipes, essays on my cooking philosophy, reviews of my books, and artwork. Also, I give private and group cooking classes on Southern Italian cooking.
I’ve appeared on Food Talk with Arthur Schwartz on WOR radio, on the TV Food Network, on Bloomberg Radio’s Dining with Peter Elliot, on Heritage Food Radio, and on many nationwide and local radio and TV shows. I’ve given cooking demonstrations at numerous gourmet shops, bookstores, farmers’ markets, and culinary events, including De Gustibus and The New York TimesStyle magazine’s “Taste of T.”
I’m a longstanding member of the Italian-based Slow Food movement, the American Academy of Rome Kitchen Cabinet, and the International Association of Culinary Professionals. I live in Manhattan.
If you’d like to know more about my work, here’s my wikipedia entry.
Contact me at email@example.com.
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