OUR FAMILY STORY
Castrese and Lori are carrying down their family traditions and sharing them with you.
Chef Castrese and Lori know what good food is and how it should taste. They were taught by their families that only the finest ingredients must be used to create the best cuisine-- which is the true Italian way. Together they continue both their family traditions and celebrate their legacy by using locally grown food from their own farm and imported quality products from Italy-- whenever possible --to make their authentic Italian dishes crafted especially for you.
Their key secret ingredients are love and passion. They both show their love of people and their passion for their culture by making the food that feeds the soul and makes people happy...and most importantly, tastes flavorful and delicious.
About Chef Castrese
Chef Castrese Longobardi grew up on a farm in Naples Italy. He had 7 brothers and three sisters. His father was known throughout Italy as a good and honest man who sold only the best quality fruit.
Castrese's mother managed the family farm. He learned how to cook from her. She had to feed her large family by sourcing the majority of the ingredients which she cultivated and harvested from their homestead. She cooked and baked everything from scratch, utilizing everything she grew and raised herself. Her favorite recipes were chicken cacciatore, roast pork, pasta and sauce and pizza.
He and his siblings were so influenced by their mother that Castrese his two of his sisters and one brother own their own successful restaurants in Naples Florida, Naples Italy and Baltimore Maryland--Castrese also owned the famous Lenny's pizzeria in Brooklyn which he has now passed on to his son.
Lori Dimarco is second generation Italian from Abruzzo, Italy. She grew up in Schenectady, New York where there was a predominantly large enclave of Italian immigrants. Her grandfather Alex (Bebop) foraged the countryside for ingredients that he would pickle or jar--as they would do in the "old country." He also had a "green thumb". His small garden would produce an abundance of fresh veggies. Bebop was was an accomplished self-taught musician who played the piano and bass and traveled locally to perform at various Italian owned clubs. Bebop's best known music venue was at home surrounded by his loving wife, Melinda (MeMe), children and grandchildren. He would make up songs at the spur of the moment, or play Italian compositions or just praise God and the play the hymn "How Great Though Art."
Lori's grandmother Meme was very special. She was a selfless woman who gave most of what she had to people in need. Meme would go without so others could have. Everyone was welcome at her home, rich and poor alike, were all treated equally. She was known to feed everyone by putting on an amazing feast with homemade pasta & sauce, rabbit, chicken cutlets, meatballs, antipasto etc.
Meme's sauce recipe, which she passed down to her children, was coveted by all. Both she and Bebop started their own sauce company, Alfredos, in the early 1950's which was met with great success and began to expand rapidly. However, due to limited production of rubber at the time (rubber was used to seal jars), they were unable to continue their business and eventually had to close.
Lori also learned how to cook from her mother Sandra and MeMe. Together, Sandra and Lori share family recipes and continue the Italian American traditions that they both wholeheartedly embrace.
As you have read, Castrese and Lori are from a line of Italians who know how to cook and trained them to source only the best quality ingredients to create their culinary masterpieces. They are both committed to share their family recipes with you. So sit back and let them treat you like you are family and bring a taste of Italy to you!. Enjoy.