I am an unlikely person to share with you a delicious recipe for cooking octopus. You see—in case you missed an important detail about my culinary upbringing—I grew up in a Kosher home!
My father is Jewish, and needless to say, his personality truly reflects his heritage and upbringing. A surgeon, my father Leonardo is strong, opinionated, heavy at times, and always Kosher. For me, as a kid growing up in Tuscany of all places, keeping kosher was kind of a problem: “What, no Prosciutto Sandwich allowed? Ever?”
Continue Reading Octopus Is Not Quite Kosher
Gabriele and I sneak away to share a tiramisu in the Italian piazza where we first met.
Please don’t hate me for having the most romantic husband in the world. Yeah, listen up guys! The way to a woman’s heart is through her stomach. And Gabriele gets to it every time.
I can’t tell you how deliriously happy a gal can get, returning to the place where she met her true love, ten years later.
Continue Reading After Ten Years, Love Is Still Sweet
First order of business: Let's eat!
Welcome to my home! Let me introduce you to the family… ‘Mamma’ Annalisa, who taught me to cook most of what I feed my family. ‘Nonna’ Lola, who taught my mother. ‘Babbo’ Leonardo, who one day got me in from of the fireplace and said “Ok, let’s cook dinner!” And my brother Fabio, the very first person I ever cooked for.
It is not easy to describe how I feel each time I go back home to Tuscany, now that I have spent about a decade in the US. Tuscany is actually not my home anymore, wherever Debi and the girls are, that is my home now… in this sense I truly feel like an immigrant!
Continue Reading Welcome to Tuscany!
Debi & Gabriele of Extra Virgin -- Enjoying Best Thing I Ever Ate...at the Beach
Every year thousands descend upon the sunny shores of South Beach to watch celebrity chefs turn up the heat. Our girl Nadia G., host of Bitchin’ Kitchen, was on the ground chatting it up with everyone from Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos of Extra Virgin to Ace of Cakes Duff Goldman during the fest…
Continue Reading Nadia G’s South Beach All-Star Blitz
Debi Mazar from Cooking Channel’s Extra Virgin isn’t shy about showing her love for Dolores, her 18-year old pup.
Show Debi and Cooking Channel how you feel about your pet! Just make a photo card like Debi’s, and post it on our Facebook page. We’ll give shouts to some of our faves!
— Cooking Channel Staff
Summer is just around the corner! That is, if you think in brewing terms. You see, this is the time to start thinking about preparing a delicious batch of Limoncello that will be ready in time for summer.
Limoncello is probably the first hard alcohol I ever tried in my life, and my grandfather is the one responsible for this acquired taste. Traditionally enjoyed after summer meals, this not-too-sweet fruit liqueur is a staple in any Italian kitchen freezer.
Continue Reading Make Your Own Limoncello!
It is nice to get out of your house and have an intimate date at a cozy restaurant. Your palate deserves something special, every now and then. Dinner and a movie (or a concert!) with my wife—yeah that’s the kind of date I like. Usually there is room for negotiations: “You want to watch a chick flick? Then we’re having steak for dinner!” Or … “You want to try a new vegetarian restaurant? Ok, but then we see a movie where at least two dozens of cars explode!”
But now with kids, and no nearby family to watch them, when Debi and I go out, it is usually for a spontaneous lunch date, when our children are in school. We make time for ourselves when we can, and considering we don’t have a 9 to 5 kind of job, the middle of the day works really well for us. The evening though, the evening is tough!
Continue Reading Date Night, in Your Kitchen
I still remember it as if it was yesterday, even though it was 30 years ago! In Italy, school runs six days a week—yes we attend classes on Saturday morning too, a real bummer. But Sunday is revered as the “Day of Rest”… unless you live in the country!
Yes, if you lived in the Italian countryside until a few decades ago, you really could not sleep past 7 am on any given Sunday during fall and winter, and not because your grandma forced you to go to Mass! What actually got us out of bed was the herd of hunters and dogs that roamed our property, anxious to find their lunch for the day. It was like New Year’s Eve fireworks, as shotguns broke the morning silence and loads of pellets sped through the mist and landed on our farm’s roof… tic, tic tic, one after the other. The message to me was clear: “We are here and we are hungry. Stay in the house and forget about your bicycle ride… at least until after lunch time.”
Continue Reading Where the Wild Things Are
Bobby Flay and Michael Symon Turning It Out In SoBe
If you have ever considered taking a break from your daily grind to go on one of the most decadent food vacations around the globe, the South Beach Wine and Food Festival has your name all over it…
Continue Reading 2011 South Beach Wine & Food Fest
I live in a house with three girls—my wife and two daughters. And a female poodle! The whole casa is filled with dolls, shoes, lipsticks and fashion items. The only manly touches here are my biking gear and my kitchen knives (and those, too, are lipstick/nail-polish red).
When my daughters ask me to play with them, I have to dress up dolls, wear butterfly wings, and very often pretend that I am passionate about Camp Rock and the Jonas Brothers. Thank God I have been spared the whole Justin Bieber thing up until now—I hope it lasts.
When the tables are turned, and my kids want to enter my playground, they join me in the kitchen.
Continue Reading Cooking with Kids