Tom Colicchio: A chef’s journey

Nov 21, 2023 704

BY: Tom Colicchio

Three o’clock in the morning, I’d wake to the smell of peppers and onions frying, my grandfather in the kitchen. Then the sound of sizzling, him adding eggs for the sandwiches we’d eat later when we were out on the water.

I grew up in a four-family redbrick apartment building in the Italian section of Elizabeth, New Jersey, where I shared a bedroom with my two brothers. We each had a bed and drew imaginary lines to mark off our turf, my side from theirs, no crossing. But on Saturdays when I went fishing with my grandfather, who lived in the apartment behind ours, I’d always sleep over the night before. He’d get up before I did and get the peppers and onions going, that smell rousing me from sleep.

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