"If you have passion – why not dream,” says Executive Chef Tony Priolo of Piccolo Sogno Restaurant. My dream while growing up was to be either a professional baseball player or a professional chef.
“I always wanted my own place. My partner Ciro Longobardo and I met fourteen years ago at Coco Pazzo Café. Our chemistry, work ethics, and ideas are the same…perfect. I wouldn’t have done it without Ciro.” That was 2 ½ years ago. After working at Coco Pazzo for 11 years, his dream started to take shape.
He grew up in Chicago, with both parents working full time; and with his Sicilian grandmother who lived on the first floor of his building raised him since he was an infant. “She cooked everything from scratch,” he said. He watched, chopped, stirred, and learned from his nona.
Ciro works the front-of-the-house, with expert knowledge of wine, especially organic and bioorganic, focusing on Italian wines.
His challenge is learning more about the over 2,000 grape varietals of Italian wines, which he loves because it is never boring.
He attended hotel school in Naples, worked in Switzerland, London, and Germany. He arrived in the States in his late teens. Worked as a waiter at Coco Pazzo Café, then as General Manager.
Chef Tony gets excited about the importance of using the freshest ingredients. He says, “Trust me, the best food is seasonal,” that is how he prepares his menu – from what the farmers bring him each day.
For the fall menu at Piccolo Sogno Restaurant, the Piccolini Penne pasta works well with a squash puree, black cabbage, and walnut pesto.
Smaller is a great idea. It’s easy to eat, its heart warming, and cute, a great size for large parties, and cooks in just 7 minutes.
Piccolini® cuts are a perfect size for many sauces and for seasonal menu’s as well.
“We’ve tried hard to bring Italy to America,” Trofholz says. “It’s important the role the family and food play together. Research shows that families have stronger relationships, and have fewer problems. The stronger we build the family the better we build the company.”
All Piccolini® shapes are perfect for children, families, as well as restaurants.
Barilla America, Inc. www.barillaus.com
Piccolo Sogno (little dream) Restaurant Tony Priolo – Executive Chef with partner Ciro Longobardo - 464 North Halsted St. Chicago – 312.421.0077. www.piccolosognorestaurant.com