Growing up in an Italian family, I couldn’t help but love food. Everyday, delicious smells would rise from our kitchen, and we’d follow our noses to find my mother at the stove. Nothing made her happier than seeing her family gathered around the dining table, enjoying a meal together. These family dinners didn’t need to be fancy to be delicious. My mother used the highest quality ingredient she could find and prepared them with love and care. She expressed her love for our family through her cooking, and I inherited this passion for food from her.
At the age of fifteen, I started my first job, which was in the restaurant business. When I think back to those years, I remember the sights and sounds and especially the smells of a busy kitchen, but the thing that gives the most pleasure to recall is the look of joy in customers’ faces when they tasted their Braciole or Bolognese. This made me proud to be Italian. This inspired my dream to own a restaurant of my own one-day.
I am proud to say that I achieved my childhood dream to own a restaurant. It gave me great joy to see my dream unfold as I watched my dining room fill with customers, and as I watched them rave about the simple, authentic Italian food I served. These customers came from all different cultures, all different walks of life, and the dishes I loved from my childhood brought them together. It always makes me smile to think about that.
Over time, the business flourished, and competition increased as more and more Italian restaurants opened. This drove me to push my talents harder and further to keep the customers impressed and to keep them coming back for the romantic flavors I strove to deliver with my food.
I think these days; a lot of people struggle to eat well and to eat healthy at the same time. Being an Italian with a big appetite and big belly to match it, I wanted to create dishes that were still full of the flavors I grew up with, but also that could be fat free. My options were limited. Choosing to go on a diet was not easy for me, not only because I was captivated with food, but also because I was excited by a wide variety of different flavors. If I had to eat the same salad with nothing but balsamic on it everyday, I knew I’d go mad with longing for all the tastes I was missing!
So I set to work.
I began to think of ways to use balsamic and other rich flavors from my childhood in low fat, healthy ways. After months of trial and error, I learned to concentrate flavors. I knew creating something brand new and authentically Italian would be a challenge and would take time, but after months of work, I created an additive-free balsamic glaze that I fell in love with. I could finally enjoy my salads with intensive flavors and shrink my waistline at the same time! I couldn’t wait to showcase it in my restaurants.
This product began with a simple idea for a better salad, and it spread to my sandwiches and other food products. The taste of balsamic vinegar glaze began to sell itself and the high demand spurred production of bottles to sell direct to customers for their own home use and to give as gifts. Soon, other restaurants were ordering it in pints to use in their dishes.
For me, just like for my mother, quality ingredients are the most important tools for making a memorable meal. To this day, I carry those boyhood memories of my mother at the stove, putting in the time and effort to turn simple dishes into extraordinary flavors. It is from her passion, her effort, and her attention to detail that I draw my own inspiration and it is her legacy of quality and care that helps me to succeed in pursuing my passion for food.
– Giuseppe Generoso