I recently did a new wall grouping of photos in my kitchen. One of the first things people notice among all the bright colors, clutter, and Italian ceramics in my kitchen are the large letters above my kitchen table spelling out a big "Buon Appetito".
Under the "BUON" is a new grouping of chef photos in bright green (yes, I painted them) frames. The three large (8x10) stars of this area are me with Top Chef's renown head judge, and chef/owner of Craft Restaurants, Tom Colicchio, Fabio Viviani's thank you photo for my taralli, and Fabio and I at Cafe Firenze.
Also sharing the wall of honor are photos of Palma with Executive Chef Matt Seeber, of Craftsteak, Las Vegas; Executive Chef Carlos Buscaglia of Fiamma, at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas; Iron Chef, Cat Cora; Salvatore Denaro of Il Bacco Felice, Foligno, Italy; and Chef/owner Alessio Liberatore from Taverna dei Fori Imperali in Rome. I had one more spot, so up went a photo of me with Editor in Chief, Barbara Fairchild, of Buon Appetit magazine. I spend a lot of time at this spot, as my laptop lives on my kitchen desk, and these photos make me smile. Stop by and see them for yourself. I will need a new blank wall to add more chefs soon!
I believe if you experience great food, you should honor the hard work and skills of the chefs who created the dishes you love, and gave you a memorable dining experience. Tell your friends, support their restaurants, buy their cookbooks, and learn something from them. They work SO hard to get where they are. Honor them by spreading the word!
Who would I love to have on my wall? Of course, Gina DePalma, Mario Batali, Giada, Bobby Flay, Tyler Florence, Jamie Oliver, Lidia Bastianich, Rick Bayless, Hubert Keller, Michael Mina, Joel Robuchon, Nancy Silverton, oh, the list just goes on and on!