In many ways my husband and I are polar opposites. He is organized. I am not. I am terrified to fly. He loves it. I am not a foodie. He is a chef. However, in addition to the great love we share for our children, there is another thing we have in common–our love of the absurd and the irreverent. Thankfully. Giorgio’s job provides us with a significant amount of material to keep us laughing and scratching our heads. So rather than blathering on about the usual stuff I blather on about, I thought it would be cool to do something different this week-interview my husband Piergiorgio Nanni, companion, father and chef. Here goes:
Me: So Giorg, errr Chef, would it be inappropriate if I began this interview by stating that you are a remarkably handsome man?
Chef: No, but this will be the only lie of this interview.
Me: Fair enough.
Me: Chef, tell the readers why in God’s name you would marry a woman who had no idea how to cook? Go ahead feel free to share the vomit chicken story.
Chef: Besides being very charming, lovely and beautiful.
Me: Go On
Chef: I was actually really impressed by your vomitacious chicken dish, a dish that consists of chicken breast, broccoli, angel hair and a packet of dehydrated Lipton chicken soup overcooked until it looks like vomit. You mixed it all up, cooked it for what I’m assuming hours and voila! And the funny thing is that it was not that bad. The lesson to learn is: don’t judge a dish by its color.
Me: Now you must admit that, despite her lack of prowess in the kitchen, your wife did invent some pretty amazing dishes. Dont you remember…American cheese carpaccio (pronounced car pay see oh not that “fancy and proper” way) and Fudgsicles in Pepsi dip?
Chef: How is it that this interview is all about you?
Me: Please Chef. Let me ask the questions.
Chef: I think the Fudgsicle in Pepsi dip is pretty self-explanatory. Just dip a Fudgsicle in Pepsi and eat it. As for the American Cheese Carpaccio, purposely mispronounced…that’s another gem. A slice of processed American cheese spread with Gulden’s mustard. The secret is in the ingredients.
Me: Do you know how I came up with that one?
Chef: No, but please don’t let me keep you from sharing.
Me: Okay then. It was 6th grade. I was in the cafeteria. My friend had a bologna and cheese sandwich with mustard. She didn’t want the cheese. So I ate it…with the mustard. And there you have it. If I may say, genius in its simplicity.
Chef: Genius. Thank you for sharing
Me: My pleasure.
Me: I’m sure the readers are curious about the title of this blog. Please explain what it’s all about.
Chef: It was Easter week and a chef colleague informed me that he was going to serve a rabbit special. Seriously. He wasn’t kidding. And, at first I thought it was a nice idea. Not because of the Easter Bunny/Rabbit connection. I don’t think either of us even thought of Easter. It wasn’t until I told my wife and she called us both “sick degenerates” that the lightbulb went off. I think subconsciously he had rabbit on the brain because of the pictures of the Easter Bunny everywhere. Needless to say, my chef friend didn’t sell a single rabbit special, perhaps made with the same little rabbits used in some of the portrait studios at Easter time.
Me: Well we might as well run with the gross theme. Baring anything that includes any part of the human body as an ingredient (obviously, duh), is the brain of live monkey still the only dish in the entire world that you will not eat?
Chef: I also won’t eat frog. I find the idea disgusting.
Me: So, dogs and cats. They’re free game?
Chef: Well, as you know, they actually are free game in a few countries. My worry, however, is that I may have eaten cats and dogs before. I just thought it was rabbit in the stew,
Me: Switching gears now. Does it ever offend you that your dog, Ginger Josie Nanni, thumbs her nose at your risotto but eats cat shit with gusto?
Chef: What bothers me is that she kisses me right after.
Me: On the lips?
Me: Sick. Again
Me: How does a man who was born and raised in Rome, classically trained in Paris, worked throughout Europe before landing in NYC win a chili competition?
Chef: I had a secret ingredient.
Me: Come on now. Tell us. Was your secret ingredient Rabbit?
Chef: That’s what the butcher said.
Me: Finally. With whom would you say you have more in common, Chef Pisghetti from Curious George or the Swedish Chef from the Muppet Show?
Chef: I am Chef Pisghetti. A loud, not very bright caricature of every Italian chef in the world.
Me: In a half ass effort to make this worthwhile for our readers, give them a recipe would you. But remember, give something for parents like myself. You know, people with dated 1950’s kitchens and no fancy accoutrements who don’t like to cook.
Chef: Here goes.Roasted Salmon. Sprinkle salmon with salt, pepper and some Old Bay seasoning. Drizzle with butter and pop in a 350 oven for 20 minutes. While the salmon is cooking, cut some fresh tomatoes and red onion and toss in a bowl with plenty of extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and a few drops of balsamic vinegar. You can add fresh basil if you like. When salmon is done, top with salad and serve.
Me: Well thank you Chef. This was fun. Want to do it again?
Chef: Yes. Now, would you like me to make you dinner?
Me: No need. I’ve got a bowl of Cheetos and a Martini waiting for me.
Me: Love you
Chef: Love you too
Oh thank you for this peek inside the world of the Nanni kitchen. This sheds almost as much light on what goes on in your kitchen as the actual light pole, I’ll wager. Also, I’m wondering if the chef would eat frog if it’s been dipped in Pepsi first?
Linda, I think perhaps Giorgio could be convinced to eat anything dipped in Pepsi first. He might even reconsider the brain of live monkey. I also must post a picture of my lamp for you to see. Everyone who looked at the house right after we purchased it told us we should take it down. What is wrong with people?!
Really! What is wrong with people?! We lived in a house for fourteen years that had a stage that went from the entry way to the kitchen and as you walked along the “stage” you would see the living room and the dining room side by side. I always called it the I Love Lucy effect — where the camera follows her from one room to the next. It was such a weird house. It had a pool, but just a regular window instead of a sliding glass door. We climbed in and out of that window to get to the pool for 14 years. I only wish we would have had a lamp in the kitchen.