HOMETOWN: Norristown, Pennsylvania
JOB: Executive chef and chief operating officer at OMBRA Cucina Rustica
QUESTION: What is your comfort food?
Q: Who was your greatest cooking influence?
A: My grandmother, Victoria Vernacchio.
Q: What would you want your last meal to be?
A: Tagliatelle with fresh white Alba truffles.
Q: Other than Italian, what’s your favorite ethnic cuisine?
A: Japanese sushi rolls.
Q: If you had to eat at a local restaurant other than your own, where would you go?
A: Hinoki, once a week!
Q: What is your favorite ingredient to cook with?
A: White and black truffles.
Q: What’s your favorite music to cook by?
A: Michael Jackson and Jay Z.
Q: What celebrity you would love to cook dinner for?
A: Pope Francis.
Q: Best midnight snack?
A: Grilled cheese made by my son Laer.
Q: What is your favorite brand of wine?
A: Zenato, especially their Amarone Riserva.
Q: How do you make your marinara sauce?
A: Minced onion, bay leaf, olive oil, whole peeled plum tomatoes.
Q: Other than cooking, what are your hobbies?
A: Laying on the beach with my wife and six sons.
Q: Best thing about being a chef?
A: Making people smile through food.
Q: Worst thing about being a chef?
A: Working on holidays.
Q: Five things that can always be found in your fridge at home:
A: Ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, Go-Gurt, juice boxes and lots of wine. I have six kids, what do you expect?