I began my life long passion for food (both consumption and preparation) at a tender age. Growing up in an Italian home, my earliest childhood memories are of the sumptuous aromas and multi-course meals that came out of my mother’s kitchen. Coming home from school Wednesday afternoons – because YES, Wednesday was spaghetti day (all be it not necessarily Prince) – and having a meatball with sauce (I’m from Boston, so it’s sauce, not gravy – that’s typically New York) and a piece of warm bread with a crust so thick that would sometimes seem as though it might shatter a tooth. My home was the most popular place to be with my friends on a Wednesday after school. In my later years, when I was old enough to stay up, I remember the dinner parties and the never-ending courses that would follow, one after the other, and the beautiful colors of reds, greens, and whites (I truly believe that whoever came up with the colors of the Italian flag must have been looking at his plate of spaghetti with basil and tomato – what we call a “quick sauce” but what every non-Italian calls Marinara – and got inspired by those three glorious colors staring him in the face). I also remember my father grilling lamb “arrosticini” (miniature lamb skewers), sausages, and steak in the summer.
It wasn’t until I left the family nest, that I notices something else about Italian cooking – or, more directly, HOW Italians cook – we cannot leave our food be! We are always turning, flipping, tossing, prodding, or stirring. Hence, when I first discovered smoking, I was immediately drawn in. It fascinated me that something so succulent and delicious, is placed on a rack for 6 to 18 hours (depending on the meat) and NOT prodded, stirred, pricked, or otherwise manhandled and could come out tasting so absolutely delicious as though kissed by the lips of angels! So began my love affair with barbecue and more specifically, smoking. I have been smoking now for about 8 years and while I don’t consider myself a “pit-master”, I do have quite a bit of knowledge to impart, so on this site I hope to share some tips, tricks, recipes and advice on all things BBQ – while at the same time dispensing adequate portions of my Italian heritage as well.
Whether you are having a backyard gathering for 20, or a tailgate for 50, or a corporate function for 100, I hope you will consider The BBQ Don to cater your next special event or function.