OUR ROOTS, OUR HUMAN SPIRIT, Italian or Otherwise

L’Italo-Americano on-line newspaper celebrates “The #1 source for all things Italian since 1908”. In their recent articles, I especially appreciated the exclusive interview with Superstar Chef Massimo Bottura, “Knowing the Past to Shape the Future of Italian Cuisine.” By SILVIA GIUDICI | OCT 19, 2018.  The article seemed more to do with the spirit of a successful chef and reminded me of my own dad who came to this country with nothing and succeeded not only as a chef but in whatever he attempted to do.



Chef Massismo says this:


“At my restaurant, Osteria Francescana, I do this: if I see that a recipe doesn’t evolve, I change it because I know that if I don’t, then it will eventually degenerate and get stuck in a rut. This is one of the worst things that can happen, especially when doing a job like mine, that is all about creativity. If you get too much entangled in routine and everyday life, working 14 hours a day in the kitchen becomes alienating; if you are in charge of everyday life and you keep dreaming, you evolve. This is the secret of success.”



According to Bottura, it’s essential not to get stuck in a rut, especially in a job as creatively challenging as that of the chef © Brambilla – Serrani


In L’Italo-Americano issue, I excerpted the following, also mostly about of our human spirit.

“Italian Heritage Month: Celebrating the History of our Roots


“Christopher Columbus left his home when he was about twelve years old to be a sailor. He spent the greater part of his youth on the Mediterranean, hitting ports all over: Spain, Africa, the Middle East. He met all kinds of people, some as young as him and others much older, speaking different languages, but all harboring the same curiosity as him for “the different:”  something new, something totally foreign but alluring, and something they all wanted…..

This is the spirit that propelled him to do novel things, find new adventures, and discover what he needed to in order to fulfill himself, in a better way; just like Nonna and Zio and maybe your Mom and Dad, too…….

And since we live in such a diverse nation, we can easily find “the different” around us without needing to travel too far. It is so very clear that Italian Americans are not the only ones to buy the tickets to the dances or rock star shows that sparkle on the eve of Columbus Day. There are so many different Americans like us who feel the need to understand and respect our separate  personalities. Like the famous New York sociologist Dr. Richard Richard Gambino once said, we make up a “salad bowl of people.” This is such a better image of who we are as a nation than the usual “melting pot,” simply because it clearly underlines the fact we can all live in one country and yet continue to enjoy all of our native customs and languages. There is so much room in our America for celebrating the ‘different.’”

I learned many things from my father, especially when he showed me how to cook in three short lessons. See if any of these quotes from my own successful dad resonate with a successful human spirit, with a kitchen endeavor or without:

“If the recipe doesn’t look quite right, change the things you can.”

“Don’t be afraid to try something different; if it doesn’t work, you can change that, too.”

“You’re not stuck, you’re afraid.”






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