Catherine de Orio was eight years old when she bought her first cookbook. After paging through the recipes, she decided which dish she would attempt. Her father enjoyed fish so the fish dish was the clear choice. Her mother, however, was a bit apprehensive with this selection. She wasn’t a fan of fish or its smell.
But Catherine had one huge advantage. One of 14 cousins in an Italian family in Elmwood Park, Ill., she served as sous chef to her grandma. The de Orios gathered every week at Nana Kay’s for Sunday supper. Immersed in a world of food, Catherine learned the basics of cooking and the role of food beyond nourishment. Food was more than calories. Food served as a uniter. Long before Mo Rocca’s My Grandmother’s Ravioli, Catherine learned the basics the old-fashioned way, at the side of her nana. Continue reading Why Imperfect is Perfect – A Chat with Catherine De Orio