Chefs Jerry Pugh and Nikki Falcone Make Pasta Amore

chefs: jerry pugh and nikki falcone
location: the confetti cafe, bethlehem, pa
recipe: pasta amore

Culinary influences?
My parents —I've learned a lot on my own plus experiences at fine dining restaurants.

Where did you learn to cook?
I basically taught myself however, I picked up a few skills from other places and other cooks including Kevin Becker at the Allentown Brew Works.

Favorite cookbook?
I don't have a favorite. I go to Epicurious.com or the Food Network.

What's the one ingredient you could not live without?
The one ingredient which I use frequently in my dishes is shallots. I could not live without shallots, they give a unique flavor to the food without being overpowering.

Favorite Microbrew beer or wine?
I go with wines most of the time, recently it's been Yellowtail Shiraz that we've liked.

Favorite music to listen to while cooking?
Smooth Jazz. I like Barney James, Kenny G, and Jeff Golub.

What is your favorite type of food?
I like the Italian cuisine, I favor that more than all. We will put our own spin on some classic dishes, so we do some fusion.

Most memorable meal?
My mother's Chicken Curry at home.

Most memorable dinner guest?
BB King picked up lunch to go. He was staying at the hotel across the street.

Most irritating celebrity chef?
Rachel Ray —She doesn't really know what she's doing. She has a staff that does it all for her.

What makes indie food better?
You have the ability to be much more flexible than chains. I worked for one —the Olive Garden. I altered one of their plates, it happened to be a Chicken Marsala, and it tasted better. I was told that it tastes bad in other places so it has to taste bad here! You are not allowed to deviate from the standard recipe.