Good Chefs

WELCOME to the homepage of the Good Chefs, a small, but, hopefully, growing stable of food-happy family, friends and pros who really know how to wear the apron around La Cucina.

The Good Chefs will whet your appetite and wet your whistle as they take you around Italy, and beyond, preparing their favorite homespun recipes – from aperitifs and antipasto, to first and second courses, down to desserts and caffè, and recommended wine pairings, too.

Reserve a table for you and all of your friends as the Good Chefs provide you with step-by-step instructions in the preparation of mouth-watering dishes – some easy, some hard – that you can “test drive” in your own kitchen. Make Good Chefs “appointment viewing” each and every time we post a new recipe. Buon appetito!


Stephanie’s in her comfort zone between the fridge, the oven and the cooktop. Actually, she’s a wizard with the cutting board and can transform a city apartment into a trattoria-like atmosphere quicker than you can say, “Table for two.”

Like so many Italians, she was born with the passion, curiosity and talent to feel right at home in the galley. It’s just in her DNA. It was because of Stephanie’s love of cooking that The Palladian Traveler decided to add Good Chefs to the lineup of header categories that you’ll find on this blog.

Look for Stephanie’s recipes – from Salta in Bocca to Risotto al Radicchio and lots of tasty dishes in between. For a sample of her work take a look at  The Good Daughter and Ocean’s Eleven Dinner Party.


Zia Olivanna, or Zia O, is The Palladian Traveler’s sister-in-law, and on just about any given Sunday TPT finds himself at the table sampling her delicious, mouth-watering dishes typical of the Vicenza province and, occasionally, beyond the “county line.”

This delicate Italian red(head) works her magic on the cooktop, the oven, the blender, etc., along Via Garibaldi in her hometown just north of the City of Palladio.

Whether hosting for 2 or 20, Zia O enjoys “whipping up a storm” and seeing the joy that it puts on the faces – and in the tummies – of the guests that honor her table. If anyone was meant to be totally at home in the kitchen, it is, without a doubt, Zia O.


Cooking comes as easy as breathing to Mark, and rightly so. His older brother attended culinary school and today is a professional chef.

Sibling rivalry aside, big brother had a direct influence on Mark’s passion for food – preparing and devouring.

Mark’s attended culinary classes in Washington, D.C. and Rome, Italy; and, when time permits, he works his magic on the cooktop, in the oven or out on the grill.

He’s an amateur bootlegger, too, brewing his own homemade beers that can give the Hofbräuhaus a run for its money.

For a taste of his culinary acumen, follow his step-by-step instructions to make his marvelous Porchetta.


“I can barely boil water or crack an egg,” shouts Lazy Person (LP) as we force the “apprentice” into the kitchen, at knife point, to serve as the Good Chefs‘ resident bumbling short-order cook-slash-barista.

LP’s representative of the guy, or gal, who really doesn’t have much of a clue around the kitchen, other than with a microwave, and is, well, just plain lazy. LP really only cooks to survive.

With LP, you’ll be treated to “no muss, no fuss” recipes made from everyday, supermarket-bought ingredients that are thrown together like scattered landscape in the tornado’s path that somehow – and we do mean SOMEHOW – miraculously work.

From homemade pizzas to sandwiches to pasta dishes to aperitivi, LP promises to give it a go, OR ELSE.



    1. Donna – Thanks for the “thumbs up” on GOOD CHEFS. I plan to enlist Olivanna — she doesn’t know it yet — as well. I would love to get Mario to do something, too. I know he’s a meticulous and creative spatula in the kitchen. He could be “Marvelous Mario from Montreal.” I like it. I like it. Let him know I have a “virtual” apron waiting for him on GOOD CHEFS. Ciao for now. Tom

  1. Good Chefs is a Great Idea.. I am soo going to follow LP …. nothing wrong with keeping it simple and fresh…. Ciao …

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