World Chefs: Carmine’s cookbook celebrates southern Italian food

Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:42pm EST
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chef Glenn Rolnick has cooked for celebrities, politicians and dignitaries but the author of “Carmine’s Celebrates: Classic Italian Recipes for Everyday Feasts,” said his great pleasure is watching diners mingle across tables at his New York restaurant.

“It’s fun to watch people talk and I love it. I think it’s a big part of what is making Carmine’s successful,” said Rolnick, director of culinary operations for the Alicart Restaurant Group, which operates six Carmine’s restaurants across the United States and the Bahamas.

Rolnick, 56, spoke with Reuters about cooking the simple food that people love and always keeping some marinara sauce in the freezer.

Q: Describe the spirit of Carmine's.

A: It’s festive. Our food is served family style, basically to bring people together. We have large portions. We want people to take food home.

Q: This is your second book on Carmine’s. How is it different from “Carmine’s Family-Style Cookbook”?

A: The recipes are (still) Southern Italian, Americanized. But in this book we tried more cold and hot antipasti and salads ... We try to put in a lot of healthy options but also to keep the culture of Carmine’s: simple food that people feel comfortable eating.

Q: Did you always want to be a chef?   Continued...

Chef Glenn Rolnick is seen in a handout picture taken in New York City in July 2013.  REUTERS/Alex Martinez/Handout  via Reuters