C'Era Una Volta -
Much is said romantically of Italy, and of Tuscany in particular. The cuisine of Tuscany is often referred to as rustic, but due to the history of the Medici family of Florence, a mystique and folklore surrounds even the simplest dishes.
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Cheryl Principato grew up with the annual calendars picturing the Madonna del Lume, the patron saint of Porticello Sicily, adorning her nonna’s kitchen where she ate pasta every Sunday afternoon following the church mass.
Her knowledge of the restaurant culture grew as she grew, witnessing the lifestyle as her father managed various restaurants. Her first thrill of a New Year’s Eve working in the field came at the age of 12 when she worked the coat-check room and earned over $100 in tips!
Following in her father’s footsteps, Cheryl has become a restaurateur in her own right building on 20 years prior experience before opening C’era Una Volta in 2004.
CHEF RUTILIO “RUDY” FANETTI-DURÁN
Those who know Rutilio “Rudy” Duran see how this veil of history and culture defines the man.
Rudy was born in Livorno, Italy in the region of Tuscany and became an “American” in 2000. He arrived having completed chef’s training in Italy and had worked many years on Cruiseships and as private chef on private yachts.
His philosophy is shaped by war-torn post World War II Italy as much as these work experiences. “Though our town had been destroyed, we were determined to laugh, love and live well with what little we had. I learned to take pleasure in the sensation of being alive, and my appreciation for taste rose above all else.”
Rudy’s personality as a chef may be simply summed up on this premise he lives by: Food is more than just fuel that feeds our bodies – it is the universal and indispensible means of conveying our traditions and shared community. Food with tradition and with “soul” is the central expression of special occasions in cultures around the world. In my philosophy, food maintains our bodies – “taste sustains life.”