Someone who’d never write a recipe down, but who would always take an opportunity to sit down and break bread with the people in his life. His joy existed in the pursuit of delicious and subtle flavor pairings as much is in witnessing what happened when those flavors opened the palates and relaxed the souls of the people who ate his food.

What I miss most is his poetic and irreverent humor, his uncomplicated wisdom, and his quixotic approach to what we should have for dinner – un timbale di orzo tartufate con verdure del boscaiolo, an orzo timbale with foraged truffles and wild greens, anyone? There are exquisite, complex dishes he made that I will never taste again. But there are also things like his joy, his devotion, his unwavering love – that I will never be without.

His diagnosis meant much of what he dreamed of, career-wise, got sidelined. However, he did something else remarkable, and, I’d say, much more long lasting. He slowed down, opened his heart even more and, in the process, deepened every relationship he had in his life. Including ours.

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