It was a great holiday season. I cannot believe how fast a month went by! I loved to see everyone enjoying good food, good wine, and good company. It was also nice to slow down a little bit to appreciate family and friends. I am going to be very busy in the upcoming months and the Holidays really help you to savor the time that you have with loved ones. The New Year also brings with it the opportunity to reinvent and pursuer projects or ideas that have been lying dormant (yes I know it’s well past new year’s but it’s never the wrong time to try something new). I have a few things in mind that I really want to explore for 2013. I want to learn more about gluten free, mushroom farming, and healthier foods. I am very interested in how to use food as a way to cure or help ailments instead of relying on medicine alone. I am the Chief of the Department of Nourishment arts at the Center for Discovery and the use of food as a way to heal and live well is a key philosophy there. I am also learning to play golf, which has proven to be a challenge but it is fun to learn something new. I have been working on some new menu ideas for Il Ristorante on Madison Avenue that I am very excited about. My work at The Center for Discovery inspired me to think more about the health benefits of the food at my restaurants in addition to the flavor. I want to use their philosophy to help make my food better for the guests. The Lunch and Dinner menu have some new items as well as some old favorites. We will be introducing brunch soon and we have very special Valentine’s Day menus at both locations for people who want to celebrate with great food! Today I tasted the Valentine’s Day menu at Salumeria Rosi on Amsterdam, and I finalized the menu for Il Ristorante on Madison! I hope that I will see you soon to share with you the exciting new changes and special menus at Il Ristorante.