Italy is Eataly

Made in America used to embody ruggedness, but recently has morphed into a symbol of artisanal design. Fueled by a new enthusiasm for high-quality goods sourced and produced in the USA, a new version of made in America is gaining steam. From the corner coffee shop to the craft brewery, ‘artisanal’ has invaded every aspect of our lives.

Artisanal , derived from the Italian word artigiano, is nothing new to Italy. Italians have always had an appreciation for high-quality products – the stories behind them, the people who produce them, and the places they come from.

I recently spent a weekend visiting my son Joey in New York City. A visit to New York wouldn’t be complete without an afternoon spent wandering around Eataly, Mario Batali’s Italian food temple. The 58,000 square-foot space contains seven restaurants, each organized around food groups (Il Pesce, Le Verdure, La Pizza etc.) as well as a market dedicated to the food and culinary traditions of Italy.

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While getting lost in endless aisles of olive oil, vinegar, and pastas one thing is unmistakably clear; Italian producers have an unmatched appreciation for quality. Italian food is more than great ingredients and packaging, it’s about telling a story. Above all else, Eataly is a store with stories. You won’t just discover what you love, you’ll also learn about what you love.

At Eataly they share the stories of the people and places behind all they offer. The more you know, the more you enjoy. And I know that I enjoy Neapolitan pizza fired in golden-tiled ovens , by real-live Neapolitans.

Bon Appetito!

 

Bring Your Passion to Harvest

There are many things I enjoy in life, but one of my favorites is the celebration of success with friends and family.  When that success is the acknowledgement of the tireless work, passion, and imagination of a brother, son, and business partner – - how sweet the journey.

From L to R: Patrick Broadhead / Dennis Max / Chris Miracolo

This week my brother Fred, son Pete, and business partner Dennis Max, celebrate the one year anniversary of Max’s Harvest, the farm to fork restaurant they launched in the Pineapple Grove section of Delray Beach, FL.  As most of you are aware, Fred and I are partners with Dennis in Max’s Grille, a Modern American Bistro located in Boca Raton.  We recently celebrated our 20th Anniversary and look forward to another 20 years of success.  But history can be boring and it was only a matter of time before Dennis Max, the man who changed the way South Florida eats, would nurture the innovative spirit of Max’s Grille and again craft a concept that would elevate the culinary world.  A restaurant where quality, sustainability and consistency far exceed the price of admission – - enter Max’s Harvest.

Opened by Dennis and Fred just one year ago, along with my son Pete as the acting General Manager, Max’s Harvest has garnered high food critic accolades from Palm Beach to Miami.  Aside from Dennis’ vision, Fred’s business acumen, and Pete’s operational know-how, this success derives from the magic and artistry of Chef Chris Miracola and the watchful eye of Owner/Chef, Patrick Broadhead.  I write this post to congratulate Chris Miracola on being named New Times “Best Palm Beach County Chef 2012” and Max’s Harvest being named “Best Palm Beach County Restaurant 2012”.  No small feat in a prosperous county full of 4-star establishments.

The Max Group also recently opened Assaggio del Forno, a contemporary Italian bistro in West Boca Raton, where Pete now acts as Assistant General Manager.  Assaggio takes guests on an adventurous journey through Italy’s culinary heritage. Authentic regional

Assaggio del Forno – Boca Raton

specialties are presented in the traditional Italian style to share with family and friends.  Delight in the Salumeria Bar or Artisanal thin crust pizza from the wood fired oven.  Homemade pastas and simple and fresh preparations of grilled fish, meats, and vegetables blend rustic tradition with contemporary casual chic.

With more inspired and innovative openings in the works for The Max Group, Dennis and Fred remain available to the industry for restaurant consultation and management services.  Fred can be reached by contacting the Business Services Group of Stampone Law.

Raise a glass to perfection – - happy birthday Max’s Harvest!

 

Congrats to Chris Miracolo for being Named Best Chef – Click the image to read the article

Congrats to Max’s Harvest for Being Named Best Restaurant – Click the image to read the article

 

The Stampone Family Cookbook

Eating is a serious matter in Italy and is just as serious in the Stampone Family.  It seems Italians learn to cook before they learn to walk or talk.  Whether at home with family and friends, or in a fancy restaurant for a special occasion, cooking Italian style is synonymous with fresh flavors, great wine, and the best of friends.  Whether rustic or sophisticated, Italian cooking has always been based on fresh seasonal ingredients.

In the recent past, American chefs and restauranteurs have begun to focus on local ingredients in what has been coined the “farm to

Max's Harvest - Delray Beach FL

table movement”.  I have always found this curiously funny, since our family and Italians in general have been growing and choosing seasonal ingredients and cooking in this fashion for 100 years.  This expression in the use of local, sustainable ingredients, is why Italian food varies so much from region to region and even village to village.  Italians have always followed the rhythm of the seasons and will wait until spring before choosing asparagus, or the summer for a fresh mozzarella and tomato salad.  And when autumn rolls around, everyone is ready for a warm plate of braised beef in Barolo.  From a simple spaghetti with garlic and oil, to a penne allà arrabbiata, authentic Italian dishes are often based on just a few humble ingredients.  What makes them so tasty and delicious is over the centuries Italians have discovered how to achieve the perfect mix of seasonal flavors – this perfection has been achieved through centuries of testing in family kitchens just like ours.

The Max Group of Restaurants

And so, it is with this heritage in mind that I am assembling the Stampone Family Cookbook.  These will be the recipes which we will pass onto our children, teaching them the skills of their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and all who have gone before them.  It is my hope this will allow them to understand what Italian cooking is all about, a celebration of family, and an appreciation for a heritage which they are so fortunate to be part of.

And although this collection of recipes will be fondly referred to as the “Stampone Family Cookbook”, the contribution will extend far beyond the Stampones alone.  Just as the many regions of Italy have played a vital role in Italian cuisine, so has the marriage of families.  From the Rosatos, Vizzas and Lentinis, to the Contorni of dishes of the McGraths, Fosters, and Kramers, all have contributed to the spirit of the collection.

Many of you have asked that I return some of the recipes which previously appeared on our prior website.  Over the next few months, I hope to provide a sampling for your continued reference.  I also hope to offer you the opportunity to make the gastronomy of our family, part of your life as well.  Buon appetito!

My Sister-in-Law, Eva’s, Ridiculously Good Spinach Salad

SALAD INGREDIENTS
Fresh Spinach
8 oz sliced white mushrooms
2 hard boiled eggs chopped
Fresh bacon bits
Croutons

DRESSING INGREDIENTS
1 small onion minced
1 cup vegetable oil
¼ cup cider vinegar
½ cup sugar
2 tbsp. Grey Poupon mustard
2 tbsp. Ketchup
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. Fresh lemon juice

Clean and prepare salad ingredients and mix in a large bowl.  In a separate container, mix dressing ingredients together starting with the oil and vinegar.  Add sugar, onion, mustard, ketchup, Worchestershire and lemon juice.  Mix thoroughly and shake well before dressing the salad.  Serve chilled.

Lawyers Have to Eat Too
“Joe’s Bows”

This rich, creamy pink sauce is offset by a generous dose of red pepper.  Heat 2 tbl.of olive oil in a large skillet over med. heat.  Add 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage (crumbled/casings removed) and a ½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (or simply use hot sausage, we prefer Hatfield brand) – cook until no longer pink, stirring frequently (about 7 minutes).  Add ½ cup diced onions and 3 garlic cloves minced – cook until onion is tender and sausage is light brown (about 7 minutes).  Add one 28 oz. can Italian plum tomatoes coursely chopped (preferably San Marzano), 1-1/2 cups of heavy cream and ½ teaspoon of salt – simmer until sauce thickens slightly (approximately 4 minutes).  Place aside.

Cook 12 oz. DeCecco bowtie pasta (Farfalle) in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente (firm to bite).

Bring sauce to a simmer and add the cooked pasta until heated through and the sauce thickens (about 2 minutes).  Divide pasta among four plates, sprinkle generously with freshly grated Parmagiano-Reggiano. (If you own one of those green cans of alleged parmesan, proceed no further.  Immediately remove it from your household and never buy it again).   Top with 3 tablespoons freshly minced basil or parsley.  Buon Appetito!