Leo N. Orsi, Jr. was born and raised in Princeton, New Jersey. He grew up enjoying northern Italian cooking from his grandmother who was originally from Florence, Italy, and who was an amazing old-world Italian cook.
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Leo never paid too much attention to the preparation methods of the Italian dishes that she masterfully made and served. After all, most kids and teenagers have lots of other things that they’re preoccupied with instead of worrying about how much garlic and olive oil you should use in making your tomato sauce.
But the incredible taste and appearance of his grandmother’s Italian cooking never left Leo’s memory and after his grandmother had passed away, the desire to again enjoy those wonderful light northern Italian creations inspired him to start learning how to recreate her recipes and pass up the Chef Boyardee. It took many years, and many failures in the kitchen, but fortunately, Leo’s grandmother had kept a file filled with her fabulous recipes.
Aside from cooking, Leo is a master fisherman and throughout his life he has spent the better part of his free time fishing the coastline of Rhode Island, Block Island, and the mangrove flats along the west coast of Florida. It should be no surprise then that his cookbook is filled with many excellent seafood/shell fish recipes featuring fresh-caught fish—in particular, the striped bass.
Leo also gained many of his refined cooking techniques and recipes from watching hundreds of cooking shows and reading dozens of publications written, produced, and starring some of the world’s best chefs such as Jacque Pépin, Lidia Bastianich, Marcella Hazan, and of course, Mr. fire and brimstone: Emeril Lagasse. Those culinary essentials in addition to tips, tricks, and popular recipes learned from some of the country’s finest restaurants have helped Leo to structure a cookbook filled with delicious recipes of his own along with a selection of highly popular dishes and their recipe secrets generously contributed from some of the world’s best restaurants.