Passion is the key to great food. I don’t care whether you spent eight months in a diploma program or two years at the C.I.A., the best food comes from chefs who possess passion. I’ve worked alongside some highly trained individuals who will never do anything more than rehash the same repertoire throughout their entire careers. Why? Because they lack passion. A great chef is not built in school or the restaurant kitchen, he is made through decades of experiences.

This brings me to Chef Egidio Donagrandi of Paprika Restaurant in the East Village of New York City.