Meet the Chef – John Piccolo

By Paul Giorgio

John Piccolo
157 Shrewsbury Street, Worcester

PG: How long have you been cooking?
JP: 30 years

PG: Where did you learn to cook?
JP: At home, through jobs during my teenage years, and at Johnson & Wales University.

PG: Where have you worked?
JP: Anthony’s, Firehouse Café, Legal Sea Food…I also had a catering business for 10 years and owned a deli for 6 or 7 years. And I also worked at Tom Foolery’s and at White Cliffs, both in Northborough.

PG: What is your favorite food to cook?
JP: I love to cook veal, especially pan roasted veal.

PG: What is your favorite meal to eat?
JP: Naturally, I love Italian food and my favorite dish is osso buco, which is a braised veal shank.

PG: What is your favorite spice?
JP: I like using cinnamon or black pepper in dishes.

PG: What is your favorite cooking ingredient?
JP: I just love using wild mushrooms in some of my dishes and I can usually get them right from some local guys who pick them for me.

PG: What was your most embarrassing moment as a chef?
JP: I’ve had a lot of those, but you try to get over them as quickly as possible.

PG: What’s been your greatest triumph as a chef so far?
JP: I guess when I opened Piccolo’s, seeing the place packed, with a line out the door.

PG: What are 3 things in your home refrigerator?
JP: Eggs, beer, and cold cuts.

PG: Who is your cooking idol?
JP: I don’t have an idol, but I enjoy some of the guys on TV like Mario Batali

PG: If you could invite 3 people to dinner, who would they be?
JP: Robert DeNiro, because he’s a big restaurant guy, Dean Martin and Davinci ~ the three Ds.