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Minnie Filomena DeLuccia was born in Paterson, New Jersey in 1912 and during her childhood she was exposed to and influenced by her mother's peasant recipes that were brought to America from the family's native Naples, Italy.
In 1934 Minnie married Armand Giraldi, who also lived in Paterson,
and for the next 35 years they
raised a family and worked
in the same town that
they were both born.
In 1972, Minnie and Armand moved to Chappaqua,
New York, an elite suburb of Westchester.
And along with them came over a thousand
old-world recipes that Minnie describes
as "deceptively simple" and the key
ingredient as "a pinch of this and a pinch of that."
Minnie chose to expand on her southern Italian cooking and modernize just a bit, so she studied with the well known Giuliano Bugialli in Florence for a few years.
She started her own catering company and cooking school, called "Mezzaluna" in 1980.
Her son Robert is co-owner of seven of Manhattan's most successful restaurants. They are "Jean Georges", "Prime" in Las Vegas' Bellagio Hotel; "The Mercer Kitchen", "Vong," "Jo-Jo," "Lipstick Cafe," "Patria", and the Tribeca eatery,"Gigino Trattoria", where any Tuesday or Wednesday, you can find Minnie in the kitchen, still trying out her new creations on the local clientele. Minnie is also currently at work on a new cookbook, "On My Own Again" with veteran author Jack Bishop.