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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, wouldnt
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
from the time I was born, I was interested in Mom's
cooking. Id accompany her on trips to the supermarket
where I learned how to be a smart shopper. And, of course,
Id watch her cook. I think the first inkling I
had that I wanted a career in food was when I successfully
duplicated Moms famous Sunday spaghetti dinner
during my senior year in college - on my first try!
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. Its 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 Davids food show on KCBS-AM and later on
"In the Kitchen with Harvey" on KNBR-AM.
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. Ive also
written for Cigar Aficionado, Womens 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 Kenneys Mediterranean Cooking,
co-authored with Matthew Kenney (Chronicle, 1997).
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.
after 23 years as a food professional, Im 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. Im also gratified by how Ive been
able to educate and entertain people for over two decades.
In many ways its not much different from what
Mom did in her kitchen.
you would like to visit Sam Gugino's own website it