Cook, restaurateur, cookbook author, businessman, buddy to the stars. . . now Steve Martorano has one more title to add to his resume: cooking teacher.
In a series of nine videos entitled Yo Cuz: The Italian-American Cook, Martorano mixes a bit of Oprah-esque self-esteem building with his patented South Philly tough guy with toque persona--you gotta problem wit dat?--and unleashes it on the dishes he grew up eating and has since parlayed into a mini-empire of three restaurants, a cookbook, a line of pasta sauces and multiple media appearances.
The first lesson, which premiered on his website yesterday, is making your own mozzarella, or "mootzerella" in Philly-ese. It's well-shot and easy to follow, though it does leave out the hardest part--making the curds that eventually Martorano brings together to make the cheese. Drizzled with a little good olive oil, the end result looks. . . well, good enough to eat. And add it to chicken or veal Parmigiana?
Shot at the Chef's Table at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Yo Cuz
is as professionally produced as anything you'll see on the Food
Network, at least judging from the first episode. (Though it's doubtful
the anal types at FN, who thought Tony Bourdain wasn't sufficiently
housewife-friendly, would let a host get away with saying, "Make sure
your plate is clean, make sure your hands are clean, make sure your ass
If you want more, the next lesson, roasting peppers, plays on the web on Saturday, Aug. 13. Just make sure your ass is clean.