« Back to the main event page
14 North Front Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Rosario Romano was born and raised in South Philadelphia, and learned how to cook the “Old Italian” way – watching great chefs in the kitchen, and working by their side. Romano started working when he was 16, with his first job as a busboy at Palumbo’s, one of the city’s legendary Italian restaurants. He also worked different food stations at Franceso, Villa Di Rieti, and Spinelli’s. It wasn’t until Alfredo’s, though, that his fate was sealed. Asked to help out on the line on a busy night, Romano caught the eye of executive chef Angelo Ciaranini who pronounced him a “natural.” Ciaranini, now at Disney’s Epcot, took Romano under his wing, and taught him “the right way to do everything.”
Romano explains that, “The reason people love Italian food is because they can understand it. Too much food today is over complicated, and overcooked. I want to give people the best, freshest ingredients, and cook them simply to bring out the most flavor.” As executive chef at Ristorante Panorama, Romano personally checks all the produce daily to assure quality—a job other chefs mistakenly give away, but one that his mentor insisted was the critical foundation of a good meal.
“Another key to a great Italian restaurant,” notes Romano, “is the spirit of the place. It’s got to have a happy heart.” Romano and his wife have three children and live in South Jersey. He keeps up the Italian tradition of cooking Sunday supper for all the relatives. And, of course, he makes his “gravy” at home from scratch.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
The Historic Strawbridge Building
8th and Market Streets