Saturday, August 24, 2013

In Memoriam: William D’Arduini

My uncle Billy passed away a few days ago. He’d been having health issues over the last few years, but the news still came as a sudden, and very sad shock. He was one of my earliest inspirations for becoming a chef, and as many of you know, we filmed several recipes together over the years from his kitchen in Manchester, NY.

After I left the California Culinary Academy to start Food Wishes, I gave him one of my chef coats, and whenever I’d visit, he’d be wearing that coat, busily cooking away, looking every bit the part. He was a barber and hairstylist by trade, but Uncle Billy could have been a world-class chef. His passion for food, and for life, was boundless. Running up the stairs from his second, basement kitchen, carrying a giant pan of food, smiling broadly, talking loudly, wearing that old, white chef coat, is how I will always remember him.

I can think of no better tribute than to re-post the videos he was involved in below. In the “Homemades” video, you can actually hear Uncle Bill helping me with the narration. Of course, in true Food Wishes style, we only see his hands, but by watching the stylish way he handles the food, it’s very easy to see that he had a special touch.

Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to my Aunt Angela and the rest of the family. I can’t begin to imagine how difficult this is for them, but hopefully they can take some comfort in knowing just how much pleasure Uncle Billy brought to those around him. Not only did he feed the party, but he was usually the life of it too. He will be dearly missed.

Rest in peace, Uncle Billy. We loved you, and will continue to love and remember you through all the amazing dishes you so generously shared. I know one thing, the food in heaven just got a lot better. Enjoy.

Homemades - Making Pasta with Uncle Bill (read original post here)

Chicken D’Arduini (read original post here)

Arancini - Italian Rice Balls (read original post here)