Friday - June 29, 2011 Share Del.icio.us | Podcast | WineAndDineHawaii.com
Occupation: Owner of Auntie Pasto’s and Dixie Grill
Where were you born and raised? Pittsfield, Mass. It was a wonderful, typical New England-style upbringing.
Most people don’t realize this, but many of the most popular recipes at Auntie Pasto’s are your mom’s. Yes. My mother, Nana, wrote a family cookbook as a legacy for all her children. I got all my passion for cooking from her.
Is there one particular favorite? Oh, literally them all! Every month we do some memory dish of my mom’s - the risotto Milanese is her recipe; we make her lasagna regularly; the peasant soup at our Kunia location is her recipe. We remember my mom through her food every day.
Do you cook at home? Yes, nightly. I cook a lot of Italian food at home, and that’s where we experiment with dishes that will become part of the menu at the restaurants. Right now we’re doing a lot of smoking and dry-aging for Dixie Grill. We’re adding some new things to the menu that should be a lot of fun.
Favorite restaurants in Honolulu? I keep a list of all restaurants I want to try, and I try to check them off as I travel. Like a lot of restaurant people, I don’t eat out as often as I like because I’m so busy, but sushi is always a favorite.
What’s always in your fridge? Milk. I have a sweet tooth, so I’m always having a cookie and glass of milk at night - and lots of salad and fruit, especially cucumber. My daughter Maddie loves cucumber. And wine. I’m discovering some great wines - and adding them to my lists. I’ve decided that life is too short to drink bad wine.
With whom would you most like to have dinner at Auntie Pasto’s? My mom, obviously. And I’d love to introduce her to Mario Batali and Anthony Bourdain. I could see that being a great dinner.
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