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Cesare Casella began working at his mother's restaurant when he was only 14 years old. Back then, he was just a teenager living near Lucca, a picturesque town in the heart of Tuscany, but he dreamed of coming to America one day.
Twenty years ago Casella was finally able to accomplish his goal of introducing Americans to Tuscan style cooking. He now runs Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto in New York City, a Tuscan market with outposts in Paris and Parma.
In New York, Salumeria Rosi is split in two: a salumi shop operated on Amsterdam Avenue and an upscale restaurant on Madison Avenue. Visit both of them and you'll get to sample some of Tuscany's best cured meats and the region's famous bistecca Fiorentina.
In the meantime, check out this video from Voyage TV to learn more about Casella, the chef who walks around with herbs in his coat pocket. Keep your eye out for the restaurant's gorgeous mural inspired by Arcimboldo.