By G. Michael Dobbs
SPRINGFIELD One local restaurateur is taking his message to the airwaves. Mino Giliberti said the point of his radio show over WHYN is to encourage his listeners to eat good food both at home and while out dining.
Giliberti, the chef and owner of Buon Appetito Ristorante in Westfield, has attracted listeners to his Saturday morning radio show, "Dining with Mino," on WHYN AM by talking about food and cooking as well as a variety of subjects.
Patrons of his restaurant are well aware of Giliberti's reputation for traditional restaurant values that are often too rare in an era of chain eateries: he make his dishes from scratch and he interacts with his diners, always making sure their meal is to their liking.
Giliberti's personal style extends to his radio show. He interacts with his co-host Jonathan Evans as well as Denise Vozella, his engineer,in a loose, conversational manner.
Giliberti explained that some people might think his show advocates Italian cuisine, but he asserted, "There is no such thing as Italian cuisine,"
"They've been debating that since 1948," he said with a smile.
Instead, Italy is the home of many regional cuisines, he explained. While dishes may have the same name over different areas, they will taste differently because of the regional ingredients.
Like other shows over the talk station, Giliberti also speaks with listeners who call in with questions or comments.
One listener wanted to discuss puttanesca sauce and its variations. Giliberti explained when he grew up in Italy, the origins of standard sauces and foodstuffs was discussed in schools.
Puttanesca sauce was developed by prostitutes who would serve a meal to travelers on horseback.
"They would take care of the horse and the rider," Giliberti said with a laugh.
The sauce would use ingredients that were at hand and required no refrigeration, such as olive oil, garlic, cured anchovies, cured black olives, plum tomatoes and grated Parmesan cheese.
He added many of these ingredients were typically made or grown in households.
The sauce proved so popular it became a standard, he added.
He also addresses questions about wine. Vozella wanted to know why he selected a pinot noir for a meal at which her husband had chicken parmesan and she enjoyed mahi mahi.
Giliberti explained that with fish the standard is to serve a white wine or a rose "not too heavy, not too strong." Chicken is best paired with a red dry wine, he added,
Pinot noir is "a good compromise," he said.
The hour-long broadcast comes to a close and Giliberti noted, "It's too short. We just started it."
"Dining with Mino" is heard at 10 a.m. Saturdays over WHYN AM with podcasts available at www.whyn560am.com
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