David Ruggerio is a well-known celebrity chef and restaurant owner in New York City. Ruggerio honed his culinary skills in France at several of the country’s leading restaurants, among them, the Hotel Negresco with famed chef Jacques Maximin; Moulin de Mougins with renowned chef Roger Verge; l’Auberge du Pont de Collonges with legendary chef Paul Bocuse, and Les Pres d’Eugenie with a mythical chef, Michel Guerard.
His rise to fame began as the chef at the legendary New York eatery, La Caravelle. At the time Ruggerio was only twenty-five years old and garnished rave reviews as the restaurant was hailed as one of the best in the country. He went on to take command of Pierre Cardin’s New York outpost of Maxim’s de Paris where he unbelievably garnished three stars from the New York Times. He then took his talents to the iconic Park Avenue restaurant, Le Chantilly. Here he gained national acclaim by again receiving three stars from the New York Times. David has cooked for five US Presidents.
He was honored in 1995 by noted vintner Robert Mondavi as one of the thirteen best young chefs in America. He went on to star in his own popular PBS cooking series entitled, Little Italy with David Ruggerio. He later went on to star in his own iconic series on Food Network entitled, Ruggerio, to Go.
David has written two acclaimed cookbooks which were published by Artisan Books, “Little Italy with David Ruggerio,” and “David Ruggerio’s Italian Kitchen.”
David has begun to make handmade artisanal cheeses in the same ancient methods he was taught in France. Canvasback Farms is a labor of love, producing delicious Taleggio and delicate Gorgonzola Dolce.
David has a wonderfully scary upcoming horror novel entitled; “A Wistful Tale of Gods, Men, and Monsters, which will be released on Halloween Eve of 2019. Could you pick a better day to release a horror novel?
We caught up with David Ruggerio to talk about Food to Ink!
What is your writing Kryptonite?
It use to be my children, and now it’s my grandchildren. I just melt around them, I just cannot write when they’re around.
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
My favorite by far was going to Washington Irving’s Sunnyside in Upstate New York. I grew up listening to his short stories, whether it was Sleepy Hollow, the inspiration for this book, or the story of Rip Van Winkle. His picturesque estate was inspirational.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
They are all meant to be stand-alone. Id’ like to profess that I’m talented enough to see into the happenings in a third or fourth edition, but I have enough problems with the next chapter.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Go to school! Educate yourself. I was such a wiseguy, I had little interest in learning, and now it puts me in a large disadvantage.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
It put a lot of pressure on me, to improve my writing and my storylines. I am desperate to make each and every book better than the one before.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
When I first read Ernest Hemingway’s “A Farewell to Arms.” I felt ignorant after finishing it, I felt completely inadequate, but I also had enough street-smarts to recognize the immense power in his words.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I have two books completed that are unpublished. I am working on two others, and one cookbook.
What does literary success look like to you?
To have a group of people, I’m not sure of the number and have them all generally like what I wrote.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Every word of every single one. After the hurt goes away with the negative reviews, I look deeper into what they said and try to improve myself.
What did you edit out of this book?”
Hahaha…half the book! That’s probably going to be the damn sequel!
Hear our conversation with David Ruggerio
You can find David Ruggerio’s book, “A Wistful Tale of Gods, Men & Monsters,” at Amazon.