Cookshelf: Dan Giorgio
Chef de Cuisine of private events, 13th Street Restaurant Group
Dan Giorgio has what it takes to run a high-profile restaurant kitchen, with his diploma from the Culinary Institute of America and his stints at Amada and Bud & Marilyn’s. But these days, he enjoys combining those cooking skills with overseeing one of the prettiest and most in-demand private dining spaces in Philadelphia, hidden away one flight up from Barbuzzo on 13th Street. Not only is this the site of many dinner parties, it’s also where chef Marcie Turney, the culinary brains behind the 13th Street Restaurant Group, which she runs with partner Valerie Safran, keeps her cookbook collection. It’s a resource she makes available to everyone on her team, but Giorgio in particular spends a lot of time browsing there. “I like to hang out in the Italian section,” he says.
One of his favorites books is The Italian Farmer’s Table (Globe Pequot Press, 2009) by Matthew Scialabba and Melissa Pellegrino. The book’s recipes are inspired by the agro-tourism farms of northern Italy; Giorgio, whose ancestors hail from southern Italy, loves learning and cooking dishes from a part of the country that’s a bit less familiar to him. One of his favorites from this book is the recipe here, vegetable couscous salad. “The recipe is flexible—you can use whatever vegetables are in season,” says Giorgio.