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Yearly Archives

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Three Days at Three Stars

November 27, 2012 | Frank Bonanno

This summer, four chefs from Mizuna and Luca d’Italia spent time in nationally acclaimed kitchens. Each was offered a job (a testament to the talent and work ethic around me). I’ve written here before about how important it is for chefs to cook in a variety of kitchens–to learn, to be humbled, and sometimes just
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The Month Luca Was a Borg

August 14, 2012 | Frank Bonanno

In 2007, Dr. Michael Handler cut out a small piece of my son’s skull and placed it in a deep freezer. He used the opening as a portal through which to attach electrodes directly to Luca’s brain. The wires that came from that portal hung on Luca like a thick patch of robotic dreadlocks, covered
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My Big Fat Restaurant Family Makes a Cookbook

July 28, 2012 | Frank Bonanno

When I opened Luca d’Italia nearly a decade ago, I got to staff it with my friends. Even then, I realized those days were numbered–that I would age in an industry that wouldn’t necessarily age with me, that these talented people would move on to other restaurants or other careers, that I would never again
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Yes Danica, I’m Mean

May 22, 2012 | Frank Bonanno

I’m such a jackass; ask anyone who’s never worked with me. Here’s a perfect example. I’m going to brag about my “Hold Production” citation from the Department of Environmental Health–brag partially because it reads like an advertisement for a cured meat program (19 cheeses, some with mold, all between 54 and 57 degrees; 12 different
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Is it my fault somebody stunk up the bathroom?

January 25, 2012 | Frank Bonanno

Part of me wishes no one complained. A Mizuna patron vented online because her illegally parked car was towed (she didn’t use the complimentary valet). A steak tartare was too rare; a soft shell crab too difficult to de-shell, the vichyssoise too cold. At Luca, a client raged against the cloth napkins that didn’t work
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