Our Favorite Italians

In Italy, the whole country is a theatre and the worst actors are on the stage. – George Bernard Shaw

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Dario Cecchini and Faith Willinger are two Italians of a different stripe.

Cecchini — the Master Butcher/Intellectual of Panzano — has been called the world’s best butcher. (“To beef, or not to beef?” is his rallying cry.*)

Willinger is a born-again Italian who has spent 35 years exploring Italy, from its Alps to Sicily, searching for the best food this giant, slurp-worthy isthmus of eatability has to offer. (“Good wine and bad wine have the same amount of calories.”  is one of her sayings.)

And let me tell you my friends, you can do a lot worse in an evening than sharing a ginormous bistecca a la Fiorentina:

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…with these two mavens of meat at a ristorante. In this case that ristorante was CUT last Thursday night — where they both were on hand to kick off the Venetian/Palazzo’s Italian Food Festival.

Cecchini was his usual ebullient self:

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….in fact he (along with some ginger friend of his in orange clogs):

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….practically defines the term.

And we bonded with Faith (a lady whose guidebooks we would never think of going to Italy without) like we were old friends in a matter of minutes:

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Yeah, Italians, born-again or otherwise, are like that.

Just about the friendliest people on earth.


* To beef! …and then not to beef… is his answer.