Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.(In Memoriam 1933-2012)
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
A longtime resident chef at Pizza Today, Bruno’s legacy here is marked by thousands of recipes and tips. He owned a prominent Italian cooking school and was a food critic for the Chicago Sun-Times. He is the author of The Great Chicago-Style Pizza Cookbook, Italian Light and Easy, The Ultimate Pizza and The Ultimate Pasta Cookbook. He also invented the pizza stone, which is found in so many homes across America today.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Bacon is back. In the past few months I have come across no fewer than seven food articles in which bacon played either a main role or a supporting role in various dishes. Talk about pigging out. Did you know that there was a “Bacon of the Month Club?”Read More
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
The appetizer section of menus has taken a beating in the many Chicago restaurants I visit every day in my role as chief restaurant critic for the Chicago Sun- Times. I see customers moving away from expensive appetizers (and, believe me, the price of apps have gone through the roof) and moving directly to an entreé (or possibly an inexpensive house salad before the entree).Read More
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
From Messina on the Northeast corner of Sicily to Trapani on the west coast, Sicily has, over many centuries, felt the influences of Greek, Roman, and Spanish culture. That minestrone of civilizations has had quite an impact on the cuisine of this fabled island.Read More
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
More and more I am seeing a bumper crop of vegetables showing up on restaurant menus –– and I am not talking salads here. From asparagus to zucchini and everything in between (arugula is the hottest green being used as a pizza topping right now), vegetables of every shape and color have become the go-to ingredients that add pizzazz to pizzas (and pumps up that pasta dish to pleasing perfection). Read More
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Herbs and spices, when used correctly, will give a flavor kick to any style of pizza, pasta dish or salad. When using fresh herbs in a pasta sauce, add them near the end of the cooking time — just long enough for their flavor to “bloom.” Read More
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Dips definitely have a place on your appetizer or bar menu, so don’t look down on them as being a food that has lost it edge. Those tasteless dips (most made with onion soup and all that) we had been urged into trying at a party might have left a bad taste in our mouth and given dips a bad rap. But I am here to correct all that. Read More
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Giving a pizza a Mediterranean spin is as easy as saying “tomatoes, olives and anchovies.” But, then that would be giving short shrift to so many other flavors that make up the colorful portfolio of delicious Mediterranean ingredients. For example, we could paint the pizza crust with a pesto sauce and that would bring various regions of Italy into the pizza.
Read More
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
White pizza is the hot new trend in fi ne dining Italian restaurants. For example, a fi ne-dining restaurant here in Chicago recently switched cuisines mid-bite –– it went from contemporary American to Italian –– and one of its featured dishes is a white pizza. The trend toward white pizza seems to grow a bit year by year.
Read More
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno, Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno, Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno, Jr
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno, Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno, Jr
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno, Jr
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno, Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno, Jr
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno, Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno, Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno, Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno, Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno, Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Recently I dropped in on a wine and cheese festival in Wisconsin. Several cheese producers were exhibiting their wares, so (naturally) I did some sampling, and chatted a bit with those manning the booths. I asked about a particular pizza cheese that is becoming quite popular in restaurants that are doing classic pizzas in the style of Naples (Pizza Napoletana). The cheese in question is provola. Provola is a cousin to Provolone (a large provola is provolone). To put it another way, provola is smoked mozzarella (provola affumicato). Mozzarella is a pasta filata cheese, as is provolone, so the processing steps are similar.Read More
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno, Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno, Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno, Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno, Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno, Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno, Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno, Jr.
Pasquale “Pat” Bruno Jr.
Garlic knots have been around for quite a while, but lately they have seen an upswing in popularity. There are a few reasons why that seems to be happening. Think of garlic knots as soft breadsticks with an attitude –– a bit twisted, perhaps, but kindly. Think of garlic knots as snack food, bar food, table bread and munchies for the kiddies to keep them happy until their pizza arrives. And, not the least of which, garlic knots allow you to get creative with your pizza dough (and dough that is about to go over the hill). Read More
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno jr.
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
Balsamic vin­egar became the vinegar of choice for the gourmet cook in the United States in the early 1980s. Nevermind the fact that this marvelous vinegar has been around since 1046. According to Waverly Root (The Food of Italy), it wasRead More
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno
Stromboli is a second cousin to pizza and a first cousin to the calzone. Which brings us to this question: how, precisely, does a Stromboli differ from a calzone?
Well, in a nutshell, there is not much difference. A stromboli starts with a rectangular shaped pizza dough, while a calzone starts with a circle of dough.
Read More
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno Jr.
When it comes to pizza, what do three major Midwest cities — Detroit, Chicago and St. Louis –– have in common? They each have a unique and especially delicious style of pizza. While Chicago’s deep-dish and St. Louis’s Provel cheese-topped pizzas need no introduction, what exactly is Detroit-Style pizza?Read More
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno
At the dawn of the pizza age, tomato sauce –– or crushed plum tomatoes –– was what a customer would expect to find on the pie that was put before them. Over time, though, it was simply a matter of trying out new ideas. The fact remains that red sauce and tomatoes are never going to go away –– updating your menu is a simple matter of changing them up.Read More
Melanie Wolkoff Wachsman
When G. Terrill Brazelton, head chef at Slice Stone Pizza and Brew in Birmingham, Alabama, developed his pizza menu, including artichokes was a no-brainer. After all, Brazelton grew up eating steamed artichokes from his parent’s California garden. Today, he places artichoke hearts on the “Very Veggie” pizza alongside spinach, mushrooms, Kalamata olives, onions, jalapeños, garlic and feta.Read More
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno
Bruschetta (broo-SKEH-tah) has emerged as a very popular appetizer (running a close second to fried calamari). In the Italian repertoire of appetizers, offering bruschetta makes a lot of sense. It’s easy to prepare, it holds well (meaning it can be prepped well ahead) and it can be offered at an attractive price.Read More
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno
In the beginning — quite a while back, in fact –– it was pepperoni and sausage. Those were the two toppings most requested by patrons of modest, family-owned pizzerias and chain-operated pizza places as well. Here we are some 100 years later and guess what? Sausage and pepperoni are still the two most popular pizza toppings. Good things last. And good flavor has no expiration date.Read More
Pizza Today
This year will be all about healthy eating, so be prepared to think about how you can tweak your menu and your existing pizza, pasta and salad offerings to reflect forward thinking as it relates to “tastes better, better for you, less filling.”Read More
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno
I always wonder why more pizzeria operators don’t do more with shrimp. Yes, I know adding any type of seafood to the operation poses a few issues –– buying, storage and cooking — that might be more than some operators want to deal with. Read More
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno
Meatballs, which have been around for hundreds of years and were once considered peasant goods, have gone mainstream. In fact, one Chicago restaurateur has opened a restaurant called “The Ball Room.” Yes, meatballs of various style (and shape) served every which way are the mainstays of the menu.Read More
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno
As we move into the winter months, have you planned your menu of soups? Soups that are basic to your menu or a soup of the day? Customers are more into soup than you might imagine, so don’t sell them short –– they are a profitable menu item, can be prepped ahead, made in big batches, keep well (and in some instances can be frozen) and actually have low labor costs.Read More
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno
I was born in New York, and I lived there — on and off — for the first 30-something years of my life. During that time I managed to put away more than my share of pizza. And the fact that I was born and raised next door to an Italian bakery that made pizza as a sideline did a lot to further my education about the “tomato pie.”Read More
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno
Familiarity breeds intent, and those of us in the food business are quite familiar with that duet of herbs: basil and oregano. Generally, our intent is to use them in every way possible –– sometimes, whether we need to or not. For example, a pizza restaurant that shall go unnamed once used oregano to the point of absurdity.Read More
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno
For some folks, that layer of grease that drips down your arm as you eat a slice of pizza is welcomed. For others, it can be a major turn-off and a reason to go somewhere else for dinner. The challenge here is to create a healthier pizza by eliminating some of the grease (fat) on a pizza, without compromising flavor. Indeed, I do have a few ideas and suggestions on how to do just that.Read More
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno
Ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise are the holy trinity of condiments. In fact, they are so widely used we often take them for granted. Squirt some mustard on a hot dog, slather ketchup or mayonnaise on a burger and the job is done.Read More
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno
Cajun-Creole cooking is hot (as in trend, but also because customers are taking to spicy-heat dishes like never before). So why not jump on the bandwagon and play along? I am sure your customers will love the variety.Read More
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno
While there are many varieties of onions, the four types most commonly used in just about every restaurant are: yellow, Spanish, red and scallions (also know as green onions). When we get into fine-dining restaurants, however, the usage expands to include more exotic onions such as Maui sweet, Vidalia, Walla Walla, cippoline, pearl, shallots and torpedo onions.Read More
Pasquale "Pat" Bruno
We all make mistakes (ever forgot a birthday or anniversary?). Usually we can make amends in some fashion (roses? dinner out?) and life goes on. In the business we are in, mistakes can cause a deeper problem –– like a customer not coming back –– so we strive to get it right the first time and every time. Read More
Pat Bruno
What exactly is soppressata? In a nutshell, it’s a form of dry- cured salami. A specialty of southern Italy, it is traditionally made using pork (beef is used on occasion). The basic seasonings include cracked red pepper and garlic. Depending on who is making it, some versions are hotter than others (in other words, more red pepper is used). Overall, I love the fragrant, spicy flavor of soppressata. Read More