Hi, I’m Phil and welcome to The Italian Chef, dedicated to adapting the recipes and techniques of an Italian Chef for the home cook. I started this website back in 1999, with the purpose of keeping my father Paul Torre’s recipes alive after he retired from the restaurant business.
When I started this website I was not much of a cook. Although I had worked in my father’s restaurant since I was a teenager, it was always in the front of the house as a waiter. The early process of trying to get recipes from a chef who did everything by feel was not easy. When I would ask him for amounts of ingredients I would get answers like “You know” and “Better too little than too much.” Eventually, we settled into a routine of cooking together with me taking the handfuls and pinches of ingredients from him, and measuring them. As I got more comfortable with cooking over the years, and getting together to cook became more difficult, I would discuss a dish with him then go off on my own to work out measurements and when I was satisfied, show him the recipe for approval and final editing.
Sadly, my father passed away in 2011, so I no longer will have his direct input or advice on this website or life in general for that matter. He was not only a great chef, but a great father and I miss him dearly. However, his spirit will always be by my side in the kitchen, and I will always apply the sensibility about and principles of Italian cooking that he instilled in me. Being a chef was not just a job for my father, he truly had a passion for cooking and hospitality. This passion is something that I now share, so please join me as I continue the journey I started here with my Dad.