Why "You Eat What I Cook You"?

Little Sonny is now approaching the eve of his 86th birthday. Being blessed with a longevity gene courtesy of his mother Pasqualina (she lived to almost 100), he is a force of nature and amazement to anyone who has been lucky enough to know him.

He loves to cook in the old world ways just as his mother and father taught him, and he loves to share that gift with all around him. A more generous spirit of a man would be hard to find.

Nick and George Rossi
Poppa Nick and Giorgio
Upon entering the Rossi kitchen, his son Giorgio would ask, “What’s cooking, Pops?” and the answer shot back was always “You eat what I cook you!”. Picky eaters with dietary disciplines were never an interest in Alfredo and Pasqualina’s house, and as the head chef and bottle washer in his own kitchen, Poppa Nick wasn’t about to change tradition.

Which was fine. Anything he cooks, he cooks with love and a sense of history, along with a sense of artistry as well. “Eating what He Cooks You” is a real authentic experience.

A couple of years ago, Giorgio approached both Nick and Linda on the idea of recording the family cuisine on video for family use; both as tutorials for the third and fourth generations of the Rossi family, but also as a way to archive and preserve those old world culinary customs and tricks to ensure that they wouldn’t be immediately lost in the march of time.

Giorgio posted a few of Poppa Nick’s kitchen hi-jinks on YouTube, and well... here we are.

Dirty Dishes
No dirty dishes at the virtual dinner party
What started as an insignificant family portrait project through food preparation has grown into a fairly large “revolving virtual dinner party” with the advent of social networking; where if the recipes are followed to specification, anybody can now eat what Nick cooks for them. And people have started cooking them a lot!

He gets to potentially throw this party for anybody that wants to come, and conveniently avoid having to clean a mountain of dirty dishes in the aftermath.

As a direct descendant of Neopolitan fishermen and pasta manufacturers, Nick knows a thing or two about Italian "Peasant Cuisine".  

Secret Alchemy
The Secret Alchemy
This is the cuisine that he has taught his children and grandchildren how to prepare, and that he still prepares, serving it up and sharing it with friends and family in his home for over 85 years on planet earth. Its the family voodoo stew and secret family alchemical formulas.

In the end, the food and the preparation of it in tutorial form is just a delivery system of the love and history of a family.

Assisted rather clumsily by his son Giorgio “Secondo” Rossi, Poppa “Primo” knows YOU EAT WHAT I COOK YOU is about love; giving and sharing unconditionally, spreading warmth and good cheer whenever you can recognize an opportunity to do so.

This is just a big internet version of what anyone who crosses over the family’s threshold would experience when they are arriving for dinner.

Poppa Primo, draped in an apron and reeking of garlic, cheese and olive oil would greet you with a big bear hug, and a kiss on the cheek. With a  beaming, crooked smile, he would exclaim rather boisterously:

“Siddown... have a glass of Prosecco and some Peppers!
Yer gunna eat what I cook you, you know!”