The Good Daughter

I’ve had the good fortune this summer to be treated to some delectable, home-cooked Italian dishes prepared right before my very eyes and in my own kitchen. My youngest daughter, Stephanie, and her faithful companion, Tiramisu, are staying with me until the end of August; and Stephanie, not Tiramisu, is more than capable of wearing the apron around la cucina (the kitchen).

Chef Stephanie

She’s right at home between the fridge, the oven and the cooktop – actually, she’s a wizard with the cutting board and has transformed my city apartment into a trattoria-like atmosphere.

It’s a pretty good deal for me, too – I just front the expense, and she shops, chops and plops an array of culinary delights in front of me. All I really have to do is select the wine and say, Buon appetito!

So far, Chef Steph, as I’ve anointed her, has prepared from scratch some pretty tasty lunch menu items that I’d gladly order if I were on my own and eating out. Here’s a sampling:

Spiedini con Grigliata Mista (Shish Kebabs and Grilled Vegetables)

Grilled_all plated

Grilled Melanzane

Grilled Zucchini

Insalata Caprese (Tomato and Mozzarella Salad)

Insalata Caprese

  Spaghetti con Vongole (Spaghetti with Clams)

Spaghetti w clams_3

 Spaghetti w clams_2

Risotto con Radicchio e Speck (Arborio Rice with Radicchio & Smoked Tyrolean Ham)

  Risotto al Raddichio con Speck_Step4  Risotto al Raddichio con Speck_Step5_Enjoy!

Fusilli al Pesto (Fusilli pasta with Basil sauce)


Chef Steph, like so many Italians, was born with a natural passion, curiosity and talent to feel right at home in the galley. It’s just in her DNA. With her culinary acumen on display all summer long, she’s the reason why I decided to add Good Chefs to the lineup of header categories you’ll find on The Palladian Traveler blog.

Panzanella | ©Tom Palladio Images

Plan on reserving a table for you and your friends as Stephanie and the rest of our stable of Good Chefs take you around Italy, and beyond, as they prepare their favorite homespun recipes – from aperitifs and antipasto, to first and second courses, down to dessert and caffè, and wine pairings, too.

Suspended animation 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and chop some fresh parsley; Chef Steph is such a taskmaster. COMING!

©The Palladian Traveler

Borsalino w/ props SMALL | ©Tom Palladio Images



  1. Like Mother, like Daughter! End of August, Tom…it’s back to TV dinners and fast food. Only kidding. I know you’re a capable cook (not Chef) yourself. What a wonderful photographic homage to Chef Steph!

  2. Herb – I’m not looking forward to the withdrawal shakes that await me once Stephanie has returned to DC. That said, Italian ready-to-eat meals aren’t that bad, just not as good as the starting-from-scratch plates Chef Steph has been spoiling me with. Glad you liked the post and the pics.

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