Nick Stellino grew up in Palermo, on the island of Sicily, and came to the United States in 1975. In 1991, he decided to leave his lucrative career as a Wall Street stockbroker in order to follow his dream of becoming a chef. He achieved his goal and more. Today he is an acclaimed chef, TV host and cookbook author.
Chef Stellino links the myths and complexities of Italian food culture, and an Italian's passion for defending it to the American culture, and California-inspired cooking techniques he lives by today. Dishes include: Salsiccie al sugo (sausages braised in tomato sauce over mashed potatoes) / pasta alla nanci (with ricotta cheese) named for his wife / pasta with shrimp (linguine with shrimp and white wine) / Sicilian fish soup (with curry) / pannacotta (chocolate pudding with berries and mint)
Chef Stellino digs into his family's history of farming in Italy and the connection to growing vegetables through self-reliant instincts passed down through the generations. He introduces techniques used to create a spicy mirepoix, a sweet and sour braised cauliflower and a romantic veggie pasta dish even kids will love. Dishes include: Lenticchie Brasate (Braised Lentils) / Cavoli Arriminati (Mixed up Cauliflower) / Pasta Con Le Zucchine (Pasta with Zucchini Sauce)
The Food Artist
Chef Stellino paints the picture of a life expressing himself through his love for the culinary arts. He constantly seeks to create those dishes that are as beautiful as they are delicious and shares with the viewers the sacrifices inherent in always seeking the path to the perfect meal. Dishes include: Red wine sauce (with soffritto) / scalloped potatoes (with Swiss and parmesan cheese / steak au poivre (Peppered Steak) with garlic arugula / and salmon with Brussel sprouts and red wine sauce.
I Love Cheese!
Chef Stellino dives into one of Italy's most beloved exports - creamy, flavorful and always tantalizing - the one perfect ingredient in any dish: cheese. Dishes include: Pasta alla norma (pasta with fried eggplant) / rollatini di melanzane (grilled eggplant with ricotta filling and chopped tomato sauce) / ricotta pudding
Chef Stellino explores his Sicilian childhood and recipes that translate to the modern day dinner table with-standing the test of time. Dishes include: Salsiccie e fagioli (sausage and beans) / orecchiette con broccoli e salsiccia (orecchiette pasta with broccoli and sausage) / insalata a la Siciliana (fennel, red cabbage, Belgian endive, red onion, oranges, olives, white balsamic vinegar)
Bacon Or Pancetta
Chef Stellino attempts to answer the question - which one is more delicious - incredible, salty bacon or aged, spiced pancetta? The answer still eludes him as he explores each versatile ingredient's unique flavor and texture contribution to a variety of recipes. Dishes include: Ragu' di gamberetti (shrimp, bacon, asparagus and red peppers) / shrimp amatriciana with pasta (from the town of Amatriciana, made with pancetta) / insalata del sogno (dream salad with pancetta, parmesan cheese, vinaigrette dressing) / watermelon salad with tomato and bacon.
Chef Stellino recalls the charming quirks of his family and how they have influenced his own outlook on food. His mother smelled the fruit; his uncle thought Brooklyn was named after broccoli; and how a one-pot dish and luxurious pudding brings everyone together. Dishes include: Pasta all' arrabbiata (pasta with a spicy tomato sauce) / salsicce brasate con broccoli e peperoni (braised sausages with broccoli and peppers) / banana cream pudding.
The Tomato Whisperer
Chef Stellino explores the complexities and intricacies of Italy's most treasured fruit the tomato. He offers the blueberry as the fruit of choice for dessert. Dishes include: tomato salad (cherry tomatoes with mozzarella and onions) / tonno alla puttanesca (tuna steaks with a special tomato sauce) / blueberry crumble.
Dish to Name
Chef Stellino explains the process of naming a dish after someone you love while he prepares some of his favorites. Dishes include: Maureen's farro salad (A twist on farro) / gambero al coccio (in shell shrimp cooked in wine) / Grandma's braciole (meat with a moist stuffing) / Aunt Buliti's strawberries (a special twist on a fresh fruit cup featuring strawberries and oranges with a very special sauce).
The Great Outdoorsman
Chef Stellino recalls the joys of pastoral Italy and delivers rustic recipes as the perfect end to a day of outdoor adventures. Dishes include: Pollo alla cacciatore (chicken, pearled onions, rosemary) / pork chop alla Milanese (breaded fried pork chop "Milanese Style") / Macedonia di frutta (marinated fruit salad in liquor and sugar).
The Heart of the Artichoke
Chef Stellino has fun exploring the history, traditions and uses for one of the most unique ingredients central to Italian and Mediterranean cooking - the artichoke. Dishes include: Salsiccia brasate con carciofi (braised sausages with artichokes) / pasta con carciofi e prosciutto cotto (pasta with artichokes and cooked ham) / braised artichokes and peppers / fragole ubriache (tipsy strawberries)
Chef Stellino honors his father by creating irresistible, updated versions of the classic recipes that he loved - while transporting us all back in time. Dishes include: Mussels with garlic, ginger and sparkling wine. (A Stellino family favorite) / swordfish with peas and tomato sauce (A deliciously, simple way to prepare swordfish) / gelo di melone (watermelon pudding)
Breakfast In America
Nick recounts his first American breakfast and its influence on him as a chef. Dishes include: Eggs Benedict "Stellino Style" / Poached Eggs over Chorizo Hash with Tequila Sauce / Chocolate Chip Pancakes
The Steak House
Chef Stellino shares an anecdote about bringing his parents to an American steak house for the first time, and the surprising menu choice his late father made. Dishes include: Reverse Sear Steak with Port Wine Sauce and Pan Fried Mushroom and Arugula / Wedge Salad
While pondering life as a vegetarian, Nick discovers some fabulous new dishes loaded with spectacular flavors. Dishes include: Chilled Cantaloupe Soup / Salmon with Spinach and Pancetta Cream Sauce / Biancomangiare (Sicilian Almond Pudding)
Nick recounts how Sundays and certain dishes remind him of his family in Sicily. Dishes include: Potatoes with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Rosemary / Pork Chop with Pizzaiola Sauce / Pasta Agghiu e Ogghiu (Pasta with Garlic and Olive Oil)
Nick describes how growing up surrounded by the ocean and trips to the California coastline inspire his recipes. Dishes include: Swordfish "Agrodolce" (swordfish in a sweet and sour Sicilian sauce) / Scallop with Red Pepper Zucchini Cream Sauce / Calamari with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Garbanzo Beans
Nick recounts warm memories from a childhood spent on his family's farm in Sicily — and the enduring influence of one chicken in particular. Dishes include: Chicken Scallopini with Mushrooms and Marsala / Chicken Scallopini with Mortadella Cream Sauce / Chicken Scallopini with Radicchio and Gorgonzola Cream Sauce
’Tails’ from the Gridiron
Nick recalls his glory days of playing football in the United States while showcasing elegant dishes to serve for Sunday football parties. Dishes include: Pikkio Pakkio Conzato (Shrimp and Tortellini Salad with Fresh Tomato Sauce) / Shrimp Salad with Cannellini Beans / Sicilian Salad with Shrimp and Calamari
Soup for the Soul
Nick talks about his growth as a chef while preparing a trio of comforting soups. Dishes include: Mussel Soup with Brandy and Saffron / Lentil Soup with Sausages / Butternut Squash Soup with Cannellini Beans and Ham
The Lobster Story
Nick recounts an amusing anecdote from his childhood about the trouble that ensued when his father brought home live lobsters. Dishes include: Pasta with Lobster Sauce / Langoustine Sliders / White Chocolate Pudding
Meatballs for Life
Nick illuminates the art (and joy) of making handcrafted meatballs. Dishes include: Meatballs Ammugghiate (Mixed-Up Meatballs) / Meatballs Agglassatu (Meatballs with Marsala and Onion Sauce) / Chicken Meatballs in Parmesan Cream Sauce
Nick describes the need for a chef to trust their instincts and the skills needed to further one’s culinary passion. Dishes include: Salad Lyonnaise with Poached Egg / Pork Schnitzel with Jaeger Sauce / Strawberry Pudding
The Love of Pasta
Nick confesses his love for pasta and explains how the perfect sauce completes his most cherished meal. Dishes include: Ravioli in Wild Mushroom Sauce / Pasta Fagioli / Pasta with White Meat Sauce
Living in Southern California has given Nick an appreciation for Latino culinary culture. He shares a trio of recipes influenced by his love of Latino food. Dishes include: Spicy Corn Salad / Poached Chicken Breast with Mole Sauce / Gazpacho "Stellino Style"