It's All in the Past: Food Memories
I used to travel all around Chicago by bus with my grandmother getting the best ingredients available. With learning at an early age that my grandmother used to do this inspired me to do the same in my restaurant today. I search for the best ingredients to offer my guests and also to provide a true Italian dining experience at Piccolo Sogno
My earliest memories about food where definetly with my grandmother Faye. I would enjoy Spending time with her(who was also my babysitter) watching her create dishes for recipe contests. After she had passed away my mother was trying to re create a dish of heres and she could not make it the same so I told here that instead of milk in the recipe she used condensed milk. So she tried this and the recipe came out just like my grandmothers.
One of may favorite culinary moments before I was cooking profesionally was opening raw oysters on Christmas eve with my father when I was a small child, Or helping my grandmother bake cookies. My earliest and most favorite culinary moment was cutting all the vegetables by the case to make Minestrone soup for hundreds of pepople at this banquet hall I worked at. This was one of my first professional jobs. I used to make minestrone every weekend by chopping all the vegetables(by case) and then making the soup in a large steam kettle and my most favorite moments were when it was cooking I had to stand on a crate to stir it with a paddle and the steam and smells would cover my face.
Q: Whether you still eat it today, or it's mostly a memory, is there a dish that most reminds you of childhood?
Cranberry poundcake is absolutely my most memorable food as a child, which my grandmother created. She used to enter recipe contests and often win with the recipes she would develop in the basement of our house. So I would always comehome from school right down to the basement knowing she was either baking or cooking. She used to make this alot for me when cranberries were in season because she knew I loved it. So I eat this on holidays to remind me of my childhood and to remind me of my grandmother and her love for food.
My favorite lunchbox food item was peanut butter and Raspberry preserves with rye bread and barbecue potato chips.
Always on holidays I try to recreate my family favorites by making my grandmothers Cranberry pound cake and also her Christmas cookies with figs and chocolate inside.
Q: Recall running down the street after the ice cream truck. What was your favorite treat from the ice cream truck?
I used to love the good humor bars, Vanilla dipped in chocolate was my favorite. We used to play wiffle ball on the corner of our street and every night it was a treat when the Good Humor truck came to visit and it always stopped in front of our house because there was a fire hydrant there so there was always a parking space for him. So we would all run from the corner to the truck and get ice cream
My favorite food memory from the school cafeteria was always on fridays we have pizza and throughout the day we would smell pizza within the school and it would make it hard for us to focus because the pizza smelled so good