PASSIONAIRE OF THE YEAR

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Okay, I admit it, Passionaire is not a word, but it should be.  I guess we could go with the Italian word appassionato, which means passionate.  So what is the true definition of passion?  According to the dictionary, passion means to have a strong and barely controllable emotion for something.  That describes this guy to a tee.  And anyone who says the American Dream is not alive and well should talk to him.  He came to the US with nothing, worked hard and is fulfilling his dream for a spectacular Italian Restaurant.

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The first thing you notice when you walk into his restaurant is, is that the kitchen is located in the middle of the space.  That’s so the customers can watch the show.  And oh what a performance it is.  Gabriel, his chef, and helpers prepare the food in front of your eyes.  The flame up, the chopping, the sizzling… all right there.  
 
This morning, he was actually in the middle of kids cooking class.  The kids were in awe of his big personality and his unmistakable passion for the food he makes. You have to love what you do and have a big dose of patience to spend the day with groups of kids showing them how to make spaghetti and meatballs from scratch.  And when I say scratch, I mean they made the spaghetti noodles, they hand pressed the tomatoes for the sauce, and they mashed the seasonings into the meat for the meatballs.  ALL from scratch.  Each kid made their lunch from scratch.  And when it comes to the dishes they prepare for the restaurant, Gabriel’s Food + Wine; it’s like watching a great artists paint.  Meet Gabriel Ruggieri.  A man of great passion with a heavy Italian accent.

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