From the Author: About This Book Operating a restaurant is more than knowing how to cook. A customer wants good food but most want it fast, a connotation most restaurateurs would rather not associate with his establishment. I hope to transfer the experience garnered during my years in the restaurant industry to these pages and create a recipe book unique to the home food preparation devotees. By following the suggestions in this book, your ability to set an elegant meal on the table becomes easy and timesaving. Visual references, meticulously detailed, are included to guide you and help you achieve culinary aptness in each recipe. In my opinion, with some obvious exceptions, there is no one rule and no one recipe when it comes to cooking. Hundreds of different recipes exist for every food and improvising is a way of life for the food preparation enthusiast, always trying to make it look and taste better. I encourage experimentation; let your imagination take wings. My culinary efforts in the pages of this book are intended to plant a seed that will grow to astronomical proportions; and if that happens I will have reached my end. Eating is an art form that is requisite to the Italian a way of life. I think it is accurate to say cooking is an obligatory add-on ability. During my trek through life it has become apparent to me that many Italians do have intrinsic culinary skills; but in truth, eating is close to the top of the list. However, I'll not confine the love for good food to Italians. Who doesn't appreciate a perfect slice of Pizza or golden-crusted bread, Mother Nature's fruits and vegetables fresh off the vine with dewdrops glistening on flawless skin. How about a splendid wedge of well-aged cheese next to a glass of your favorite wine? Today the influence of Italian food in the kitchen circles the globe, but perhaps, nowhere as naturally as in our American homes. I dedicate this book to the millions of food aficionados across this country; I dedicate this book to America.