academia barilla  June 2008

Italian Food Lovers Chef Network: more about Chef Tony and Cathy Mantuano

We are back with our new Guest Chef and wine expert for [...]

We are back with our new Guest Chef and wine expert for the Italian Food Lovers Chef Network, Chef and partner of Spiaggia Restaurant Tony Mantuano and wine expert Cathy Mantuano.

tony-and-cathy-mantuano We interviewed via email Tony and Cathy, and asked them a couple of questions about their Chef and wine experience and their love for Italian food.

Chef Tony Mantuano wanted to be a Chef because he “loves to cook“, as simple as that. According Chef tony Mantuano, “the secret of being a top Chef is being smart enough to know to leave out an ingredient. The most important ingredient in any dish is the one you leave out“, he said to us.

Chef Tony Mantuano’s favorite food is Cape Cod Potato Chips and his favorite cooking style is “Regional Italian food that respects tradition“. His definition of Italian cuisine is “Food that has respect for Italian culture and tradition“, while his definition of Italian gourmet is “Traditional food presented in a modern fashion for today’s palate“.

Check out this video we found on Google Video, if you want to get more Italian Chef insight, knowledge and philosophy from Chef Tony Mantuano!

We also interviewed wine expert Cathy Mantuano, and she told us that her favorite food is “pasta because there are so many kinds of pasta and so many different sauces and preparations for it“, while talking about her cooking style she stated that she is “a fan of any cuisine that uses fresh, seasonal products as a base for its dishes. I like spicy dishes, as in Thai and Chinese food. I also like Japanese food. I love the spices of Middle Eastern cuisine“.

When asked about her definition of Italian cuisine Cathy Mantuano said that “Italian cuisine highlights top quality ingredients in season, prepared simply, using few ingredients“, while her definition of Italian gourmet is “freshly picked produce, handmade pasta, farm raised poultry and meat, artisanal cheese, estate wines“.

wine-bar-food-mantuano As we reported on our latest post, Cathy and Tony Mantuano are co-authors of the Italian cookbooks “Wine Bar Food: Mediterranean Flavors to Crave with Wines to Match” and “The Spiaggia Cookbook: Eleganza Italiana in Cucina“, both available online at Barnes and Noble’s and’s online stores. Wine Bar Food is also available at

Some of the recipes from Cathy and Tony’s cookbooks feature Academia Barilla products (as well as in their Chicago restaurants Spiaggia, Café Spiaggia, and Private Dining Rooms of Spiaggia) and we got permission from the authors to share with you some of their Italian gourmet creations – so here we go with the first one… only that we want to publish the recipe on a clean new post, so you can print it and take it with you to the kitchen – stay tuned for the recipe post coming up tomorrow!

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