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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.

samcook.gif (5458 bytes)The kitchen was the focal point of my upbringing in our Italian-American family in Buffalo, New York.  It was no accident that people had to pass through the kitchen on their way to the rest of the house. My mother, Anna Gugino, wouldn’t let you leave without having something to eat, even if it was just coffee and some of her Sicilian cucciddati cookies. Conversations invariably led to talk about food.

Almost from the time I was born, I was interested in Mom's cooking. I’d accompany her on trips to the supermarket where I learned how to be a smart shopper. And, of course, I’d watch her cook. I think the first inkling I had that I wanted a career in food was when I successfully duplicated Mom’s famous Sunday spaghetti dinner during my senior year in college - on my first try!

After being the chef and manager of two critically acclaimed restaurants in Philadelphia, and stints as a hotel food and beverage director and hospital food service administrator, I became restaurant critic at the Philadelphia Daily News in 1986. It’s been great fun writing about food, and a damn site easier than standing in front of a stove for 12 hours a day. Two years later I was named food editor of the San Jose Mercury News where my columns were voted best among all major newspapers by the Association of Food Journalists. While in San Jose I was a frequent guest host on radio, first on Narsai David’s food show on KCBS-AM and later on "In the Kitchen with Harvey" on KNBR-AM.

In 1994, my wife Mary Lee Keane and I moved to New York. Now I write Tastes, a food column for the Wine Spectator, and a wine column for Showcase magazine. I’ve also written for Cigar Aficionado, Women’s Day, and Cooking Light magazines as well as The New York Times. One of my Times’ stories, "Beat the Clock: Inspired Meals in 10 Minutes," was nominated for a James Beard Journalism Award and became a book, Cooking to Beat the Clock, published by Chronicle Books in December 1998. My other books are Eat Fresh, Stay Healthy, (Macmillan, 1997) and Matthew Kenney’s Mediterranean Cooking, co-authored with Matthew Kenney (Chronicle, 1997).

I’m a member of the American Institute of Wine and Food, the Association of Food Journalists, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, the Wine Media Guild, and the National Writers Union.

Even after 23 years as a food professional, I’m still passionate about what I do for a living. My wife says she can see my eyes light up when I discover a new food or dish. I’m also gratified by how I’ve been able to educate and entertain people for over two decades. In many ways it’s not much different from what Mom did in her kitchen.

If you would like to visit Sam Gugino's own website it is www.SamCooks.com