Chef Mauro Martina
OEB Breakfast Co.
As a young child growing up in Italy, in the south of the peninsula to be exact, with vast lands of olive oil, pasta, pizza and amazing wine, it was hard not to be inspired. It all began when I grew up with my grandparents. I remember it as if it was just yesterday. I recall waking up in the middle of the night, or even the early morning, taking my one eyed teddy bear into the kitchen where an army of family friends were gathered at the table prepping to make passata di pomodoro, or tomato sauce as we know it here. It was a beautiful summer morning, the sun was just about to rise, the aroma of ripe cooked tomatoes was filling the air and I could not wait to dig my fresh baked bread into it. Oh yes, fresh bread was made daily at nonna’s house. I remember sitting in front of the oven every other day, just waiting for the fresh loaf to come out so that I could have the beginning or the end piece.
At nonna’s house cooking was just a part of each and every day, just like going to the market for produce, or to the cheese monger for a chunk of Parmiggiano Reggiano, or to the butcher for some fresh butchered lamb that was raised on his farm. It was just obvious to me that if I could not be the next soccer superstar, then the only other thing, that never escaped my mind, was to become a passionate chef.