My interpretation of contemporary American Cuisine is a reflection of my life experiences. Growing up with Italian Americans in New York, working with Asian chefs in California, traveling throughout CaliforniaWine Country and Europe have all made a mark. My style is firmly anchored in the European training of the California Culinary Academy, with specializations in the South of France, Italy, Latin America, and Asia.
I like my cooking to maintain an authenticity to the traditions and techniques that have influenced me, while reflecting a respect for this time and place. A respect for Northern California and San Francisco where I have been a chef for over 40 years. We are all very concerned with how our food is grown and where our meat and eggs are raised. I have been aware of cracks in our food supply for some time. An organic gardener since 16 when my aunt gave him a stack of Organic Gardening Magazines. I am constantly surprised and thrilled by the quality of ingredients available to use today.
My favorite sources of inspiration are farmer’s markets. Here, I never fail to find something new to bring home and cook. I continue to remind myself of what we learned at the CCA, “respect the ingredients.” I believe this commitment to small local producers helps insure that I have found the finest ingredients while simultaneously working towards a better world. Buying from organic producers helps build a system of food production that will preserve the earth and insure our farm animals are raised under healthful and humane conditions.
What else motivates me? Helping guests have the great experience they expect, making sure that their meal and event is perfect. It’s still a thrill. Having worked with picky pop musicians, anxious professional party planners and harried hostesses, I know my clients’ experiences must be perfect.