NJ Italian Cooking With a Distinctly Sicilian Flavor
Head Chef Guiseppe Inchiappa was born in Trapani Sicilia a small fishing town on western coast of the island, not far from Palermo. Fishing and canning industries drive the local economy with fisherman still using the ancient mattanza technique to catch tuna.
When only 6 years old Guiseppe came to the USA with two brothers and a sister and they settled in the Ozone Park section of Brooklyn. Here Guiseppe got his first taste of the kitchen cooking watching his mother and sister cook traditional Sicilian fare. Like so many Italian immigrants who migrated to the states, food was more than just sustenance, it was their emotional connection to the old country and the cuisine was rich in both taste and preparation. As the women of the Inchiappa family worked with fresh fish, meat and fresh oranges (the orange juice is a Trapani thing) Guiseppe absorbed their work ethic and their passion for authenticity.
As a teen in the 70’s Guiseppe worked in a loca Randolph NJ area Pizzeria and then at 19 years old worked in his sister’s restaurant, where he learned the all-important business of volume cooking. The cuisine was heavily Sicilian influenced creating unique, flavorful dishes out of seafood and eggplant. Fresh pasta dishes were especially popular, with pasta made the exact same way that Mama Inchiappa made it.
Guiseppe’s approach to food is straightforward: “Whatever I like to eat is what I present.” Influences come from everywhere. Wild rabbits, boar, rabbit, chicken, experimented with until a level of perfection is reached. Guiseppe is known for spending days perfecting a recipe using both experimentation, and spontaneous influences. His standards are such that many dishes never make the cut but the ones that do are a cut above. His perfectionism sometimes takes a toll on his staff but his results speak for themselves.
Ingredients are paramount at Rosies and chef Guiseppe will tell you that all great dishes start with that. All vegetables are fresh and come from local markets, usually picked by the chef himself. Even the cannellini beans used in his recipes are not canned. Guiseppe likes to joke that the only can holding food in his kitchen is the garbage!
Guiseppe’s wife Rosie (the restaurants namesake) believes that her mother blessed the opening of the restaurant having passed only months before. Assunta Buonincontri taught her daughter the value of hard work and persistence. Celebrating their 10th year in business, Rosie’s Trattoria under the watchful eye of Chef Guiseppe Inchiappa, is poised to persist for many, many years more.