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This is a very short biography and if you want more information you can visit the contributor's website where you will usually find contact details. If you wish us to pass a message on email us.

I emailed Ken to ask him to let us know a little bit about himself and his interest in food and this was his reply:

Yes, that most certainly is me in the photo at the port on Panarea - wish I was there now.

I am originally from New York City, a Brooklyn native to be exact, and first generation Siciliano-Americano.

My passion for anything culinary began in the kitchen of our home in Brooklyn. My mother was a wonderful cook, as was my grandmother. Needless to say, my father appreciated fine food as well, and we frequently dined out in and around the city, usually in Italian restaurants. Us Italians, I am sure you are aware, are hard pressed to do without our pasta.

The aromas emanating from our little kitchen when my mother was putting together a family meal had my attention from a very early age. I would spend hours with her there, whether helping, watching or snapping up samples of polpetti or dipping a piece of bread into her hearty sugo to sample its various cooking stages.

Her culinary abilities began to penetrate, and I suppose became permanently imbedded, in my palate. I began cooking once I was on my own in the mid-1960s. I worked in all aspects of the restaurant business, first in New York and then San Francisco, where my professional cooking experience actually began. I have traveled extensively throughout Italy where I have spent a considerable amount of time, as well as in Sicily, the Aeolian Islands and Messina Province, where I still have quite an extensive family.

I began working in Italian restaurants several decades ago, eventually becoming chef /owner of Ristorante La Traviata, in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1989. The recipe for Linguine con Gamberi e Zafferano is from the La Traviata files.

I am currently living in Palm Desert, California. My web site (click here) is hopefully the beginning of what will eventually develop into a fully illustrated cookbook combining Aeolian and Sicilian recipes that I have collected, combined with those of my family heritage and related recipes from the restaurant.


Kenneth Albert Calascione
La Cucina Eoliana e Siciliana