I'm a native New Yorker. I've eaten and cooked my way around this city. I specialize in Southern Italian and Neopolitan cooking under the influence and training of my father Neil Durazzo and uncle Tony Durazzo (Frankies Spuntino, Prime Meats, Cafe Pedlar).
I began cooking alongside my parents, watching TV food shows when they were raw and less structured than they appear today. Programs that could be seen on PBS and The Discovery Channel on late Saturday afternoons like The Frugal Gourmet, Everyday Cooking With Jacques Pepin, Great Chefs. The emphasis was on educating the public, and teaching the viewers about ingredients and technique.
Watching, learning, and experimenting helped develop a seed of culinary passion that slowly began to bloom. The seed was nurtured by spending time with my grandparents, enjoying the delicacies they ate across generations; each generation having its own influence on the evolution of a particular dish. I began to hear chatter among relatives on why their tomato sauce was better, and why their meatballs were less dense. Growing up around a family with a variety of different viewpoints allowed me to shape my own palate.
One of my first distinctive food memories as a child was awaking one early Saturday morning, and instead of opting for Cookie Crisp cereal, my Father decided to make eggs. This was the first time I vividly remember eating eggs for breakfast. These were not the cliche home cooked rubbery scrambled egg variety, but rather two eggs over easy, fried in Filippo Berio olive oil, with a few thinly sliced coins of cured dry sweet Italian sausage. Today, every time I eat fried eggs or cured sausage, I reminisce of a time when these flavors were new and magical to me. Moments like these have enamored and fueled my continued food exploration and experimentation.
- Mile End Delicatessen
- Gowanus Grove Grilling
- Mister Sunday
- James Beard House Brooklyn Cooks 2010
- ANIMAL New York
- Food 52
- Brooklyn Ginger Social
- Downtown Lunch