Posts Tagged ‘La Scuola Internazionale di Cucina Italiana’

So I have retreated to my home town of Olean to mend my financial fences after three years of globe trotting, business and personal misadventures all of which is chronicled in this blog. And the best thing is I am really feeling good about it.

Kate Sager at the Olean Times Herald wrote a really nice article OLEAN TIMES HERALD ARTICLE and I have been landing several new law and mediation clients each week. All good right?

knivesTomorrow I am teaching my first culinary class at Cutco Cutlery Company. Knife skills, because they make some hot ass sharp knives and Intro to Italian Cuisine because that is what I know. And, I am actually getting paid.

I must admit that I am still more excited about Italian cuisine than legal affairs but I have to pay the bills and I get to have some fun cooking at the same time.

I hope to get some good photo’s to use in my next post.

Stay tuned.







Read Full Post »

The Marchesi Code.

Read Full Post »

A great deal has transpired since my last post on April 23, 2012. On May 9, after several very disappointing months I closed Calle’s Cucina. I had counted on business picking up in April and it did not. So, with great heart ache I locked the doors. I was disillusioned and a bit depressed. So, I jumped on a plane and spent so soul searching month in Sweden. Great weather and no stress was just what the doctor ordered. While in Sweden I contemplated my future and applied to a few random Craigslist ads for employment as a chef in Baltimore.

I returned on Sunday June 10th with renewed positive energy flowing in all directions. On June 11 I received a response to one of my employment applications. I had applied to a blind ad for “Executive Chef needed for upscale Italian Restaurant in Baltimore”.

Since there are many Italian restaurants in Baltimore that consider themselves “upscale” I had no idea who was needing an Executive Chef. The call came at about 1:00 pm and I said I was in the area and could come right over and the GM said sure, so 30 minutes later I am meeting with the General Manager. Another 30 minutes later we agreed that I would start the next day, Tuesday June 11th at 10:00 am. I worked 7 straight days including serving 225 + on Saturday and Sunday, Fathers day.

Needless to say I have landed firmly on my feet. I held off writing this post thinking that I might just wake up and find out it was all a dream. I have secured pretty much my perfect job. How did it happen? After a 12 hour day I go to sleep looking forward to going to work the next day. I like the people I work with and they seem to like and respect me. I wake up in the morning anxious to get to work rather than being anxious about having to go to work. A 12 hour day, which is normal, flies by.

I am teaching a crew of 10 hard working, non-complaining kitchen staff how to make a stock correctly, how to properly portion fish and how to taste each dish to make sure it is properly seasoned. All the things that are second nature to me because of what I learned in New York and Italy I am teaching others and I am getting paid for it. Wow!

Of course, it is not all easy or stress free. I am responsible for ordering thousands of dollars worth of ingredients and supplies each week. I must source and negotiate prices on seafood, produce, meat and cheese. I need to reduce food costs, reduce waste and increase productivity and profitability. I have started working on a new menu which is planned to come out in September.

I am a true Executive Chef at Della Notte, one of Baltimore’s finest Italian Restaurants. www.dellanotte.com. We seat 250. Have a piano bar and 1300 bottle wine cellar. I have 6 line cooks with 4 to 13 years of experience at Della Notte and they are good and have accepted me totally. There is no screaming or pot throwing in the kitchen ever.

Two years ago I had been in Italy for just one month. I started my journey from Lawyer to Italian Chef two and one half years ago and now I am an Italian Chef. If I am dreaming I hope I don’t wake up. Thanks to everyone who believed in me along the way. Along the way  there were times when I was sure I would succeed and other times when I was sure I wouldn’t. It was not always an easy road. Passion and courage are meaningless without determination. And passion, courage and determination sometimes fall short without a good bit of luck. But one thing I know for sure is that hard work paves the road down which good luck travels and I did work hard, very hard.

So, while this is not the end of the big journey, it seems, quite unexpectedly, and out of the ashes of a failed Calle’s Cucina, I have reached my goal of becoming a real Italian Chef at a first class restaurant. A Swedish-American, Italian Chef.

I could not have accomplished this on my own. So many people have contributed to my success that I won’t try to name them all, but you know who you are and thank you from the depth of my heart. Ciao for now!

Read Full Post »

My First professional, yet recreational cooking class. 31 Wharton MBA Leadership Fellows at a Chesapeake Bay retreat in Maryland.

A group of really smart young people who love to have fun!

My first professional, recreational cooking class. March 18, 2011.

This was a very fun evening, March 18, 2011 and we cooked great Italian food, had hats and everything and Mary and I got paid!!!!!


Below is tonight’s dinner. Very healthy and very tasty. How many of my readers eat like this

at home? Does it look good? Every ingredient was seasoned and dressed separately and assembled just before eating.

Lettuce, shallot, black beans, eggs, cucumber, tuna, capers, red bell pepper, celery, asparagus, fresh thyme, chive, basil and parsley from my window herb garden. Quince, two types of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, White and Red wine vinegar and an Orchid. We were never taught this recipe in New York or Italy but everything I learned in both places went into this recipe. I even cleaned the rim of the plate with vinegar. It was served with a California Chardonnay, called Toasted Head and imported creamy Gorgonzola and multi-grain  bread. Yum!

Chef Calle's Insalata Nicoise.

Read Full Post »

Mary’s birthday cake. Watch the slideshow.

Flour-less chocolate with mascarpone, sugared strawberries, “Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia” soaked blueberries and Swedish Pearl Sugar.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Read Full Post »

Swedish-Italian-American Vegetarian Chili.

I just entered my first Baltimore cooking competition. Celebrity Chef judges and everything. The Federal Hill South “Chili Cook-off”.

I am entering my personal favorite, “Chef Calle’s, Italian-Swedish-American Vegetarian Chili” made with Imported Italian Tomatoes, Umbrian Extra Virgin Oil di Oliva, Moroccan cumin which I brought back from Marrakesh and fresh cilantro from my window herb garden. Add some super secret Swedish ingredients and LOVE and you get a winner.

This Sunday 3-5 pm at the The Catholic Community School on Federal Hill. $5.00-BYOB. Come early and come often as my Chili will be going fast.


Something like this.

Read Full Post »

There is nothing like a good ole American roast turkey with a Montepulciano D’Abruzzo, DOC, 2007, Masciarelli 13%.

4 hours down and one to go for the turkey.

Roasting  a bird like this. 7 kilo’s, takes time and patience. But it is worth the wait.




Read Full Post »

Older Posts »