bistro

bistro

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.

Harriet Van Horne
Introduction
My Background
Maria DiNitto - 1963
As a descendent of Italian and French Canadian immigrants my life began as a culinary adventure. Spaghetti was my first food. Our tradition of hospitality and generosity centers around the dinner table. Some of my earliest memories are of my Italian grandmother, Maria, toiling away in her kitchen. She came from Gaeta, Italy. Although she passed away when I was a young man her wonderful food lives on through her descendants.
Maria spoke little English, yet she inspired us through her passion for cooking. I still remember those long days of feasting with the whole family at my grandmother's house, everything so fresh and homemade. She spent her life in that kitchen. Through her interpreter, my aunt Tina, Maria gave us her recipes and techniques.
My French-Canadian grandmother, Jeanette Hill, moved to Boston in the early 20th century and then to the west coast when I was two years old. Although she wasn't a part of my childhood I was lucky to spend time with her as a young man in the 1980's when I visited California frequently.
Among her specialties were Tourtière, Oyster Stew, Chicken Fricassee, and the secret recipe for Topsy's Fried Chicken.
back: Bob Pat Jeanette, front: John Jane - 1968
Pat DiNitto and Janet Deluca - circa 2000
But the folks who've had the most profound effect on my eating and cooking habits are my mom, Pat, and my aunt Janet. The two "Hill Sisters" have brought a love of gourmet food and a wealth of variety to my culinary experience. Together they taught me the art of eating and cooking and living well.
My Culinary Challenge
Frittata
Office work gave me time to enjoy hours in my home kitchen. Software was my work and cooking my hobby. But in 2003 I reversed things and went to culinary school. Cooking became my vocation and software a hobby. Due to my busy restaurant schedule I don't come home from work and cook. Hours of cooking does not inspire one to more cooking! Instead I send out or microwave leftovers from the freezer. Home cooking happens on days off when I prepare home cooked food and freeze it for later.
This change in lifestyle has dramatically affected both what and how I cook at home. Grilling was always my preferred style. But now I often use the crock pot, Instant Pot, and air fryer. They help simplify and accelerate things. I cook more sautès and stews that can be reheated and served over rice or pasta.
Alghough I still love nothing better than a good lasagna, (which freezes well!) or a Boeuf Bourguignon, these are for special occasions. Usually I'm simply looking to dump things into a crock pot and run away. But I don't want to sacrifice quality and flavor for convenience - that's my culinary challenge.
-bob
Chili
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