If you were to ask any of my friends or clients about my specialty, they would quickly inform you that it’s risotto. However, it wasn’t always so. Long before my professional career and formal training, I was a cook that depended on what I learned as a child. The rich Italian-American cooking of my family was my strong suit and, more than anything else, it was my grandmother’s Eggplant Parmigiana that was requested over and over again. It’s serious comfort food and one of those dishes that incites applause and smiles all around.

The secret behind this dish is more in the preparation and attention to details than anything else. It starts with the care taken when preparing and dredging the eggplant. The breadcrumbs should be fresh and freshly seasoned by your own hand. Next, the oil should be light olive oil at a medium temperature because extra virgin burns over anything other than a low flame.