March-April 2013 | NO QUESTION: PINO




Turns out some of the most interesting people in this region are also some of its busiest. They give the Eastern Shore its inimitable texture and flavor. So, who better to debut our new No Question section with than Pino Tomasello of Fresco’s

Written By: Nick Brandi | Photographer: Grant L. Gursky

Who better to debut our new No Question section with than Pino Tomasello of Fresco’s

Name: Pino Tomasello

Age: 53 Years Old

Current occupation, location and title: Owner and executive chef of Fresco’s, Ocean City.

How long have you been preparing meals (as an amateur and pro)?
I have been preparing meals for 30 years.

Where did you study your art (formally and informally)? 
I have studied with some of the best chefs in the world, here in the USA and in Italy.

What was the first complete meal you ever prepared totally on your own and how old were you?
I was 19 years old when I prepared my first dish totally on my own. It was an Italian chicken dinner.
From what do you take the greatest pleasure in the performance of your job?
I know my customers and what they like. Being able to create something special for them brings me joy.

What’s your all-time favorite restaurant and why?
I really don’t have a favorite restaurant. My kitchen is my favorite place because I know what I’m eating. I love trying different places to see what other chefs are cooking, but I’m a traditionalist at heart.

Who’s your most-admired chef?
The person I admired most was Ettore Longo. He was from Italy and worked in restaurants in Palm Springs and California. I was honored to be able to work with him; he had great talent and skill.

What and where was the best meal you ever had that you didn’t prepare?
My favorite meal is Pappardelle with Porcini Musil. When I do eat out, I always pick a restaurant of quality.

Favorite guilty-pleasure food: My mother’s chocolate cake. 

Favorite cuisine to eat: Italian

Favorite cuisine to prepare: Déjà vu? Italian.

What as a restaurant patron makes you the angriest?
I get very angry when eating out and they rush my meal.

What as a restaurant patron makes you the happiest or is most gratifying?
When the chef cooks with passion. I truly appreciate a meal that is cooked from the heart.

What really excites you in a restaurant setting?
I enjoy creating new dishes for my customers from vegetables, meat or fish. Also, when my kitchen is immaculate, well organized and efficient (which it always is, of course!)
What dish or food do you feel gets the most screwed up by chefs?
I think chefs screw up the simplest dishes, like a good steak or a fresh piece of fish.
What’s the hardest thing to do in a kitchen?
Believe it or not, it’s not the cooking. The hardest thing to do day in, day out, is be a good coach, keep the team happy and have a smooth-running crew, like a fine precision machine.
Is the cliché that chefs are prima donnas true?
I guess some chef’s think of themselves as prima donnas, but that’s not me. I’m a chef because I enjoy what I do, not because I want to be some sort of star.
What’s your favorite cooking show?
I don’t get a lot of time to watch TV, but when I do, I enjoy watching Iron Chef.
How do you like to relax after a stressful shift or on your day off?
The best way to relax is with family and good friends.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I hope to be lying on a beach in Tortola [British Virgin Islands].



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