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Franco Lania
Franco’s journey has brought him to the stoves at some of the most highly-acclaimed restaurants in the United States as well as Europe: La Grenouille, New York City; River Café, Brooklyn, NY; Pinot Bistro, Studio City, CA; Blue Door, Miami, FL; Dorchester Hotel, London, and the two Michelin-starred Sadler, Milan, Italy. His love for travel and cuisine lured him onto luxury cruise lines. On Oceania Cruises, whose culinary department is headed by the world-renowned Jacques Pepin, Franco was the first American to hold the Italian Chef position. He frequently appears as a guest chef on Celebrity Cruises’ transatlantic crossings. Through his unique experiences, Franco has attained the “marquee level” of a Certified Culinary Professional on land and at sea.

Currently, Franco explores New Jersey’s diverse food culture through his show, Jersey Gems, airing on HomeTowne Television (HTTV); he is often the “Green Grocer” for their evening news. He is a member of the Culinary Advisory Board for ConAgra Foods. Franco has appeared on The Food Network’s 24 Hour Restaurant Battle.

Entries by Franco Lania

Tunisia's Liquid Gold Olive Oil Production

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2015 | 1:06 PM

2015-05-12-1431442005-9648201-OliveOilTunisia.jpgWhat country do you think is the second largest olive oil producer this year? It's Tunisia! That's right. While the olive crop in other countries declined, Tunisia's crop was abundant. The remarkable climb to become the world's second largest olive oil producing...

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Minnesota Wild Rice Griddle Cakes and Greek Yogurt, Mixed Fruits and Honey

(0) Comments | Posted February 20, 2015 | 2:17 PM

2015-02-19-yogurtgriddlecake801.jpgMinnesota Wild Rice Griddle Cakes make a terrific and healthy breakfast option. You can adorn them like you would your favorite pancake. My traditional griddle cake recipe adapts perfectly with the addition of blueberries, strawberries, bananas or even chocolate chips. One of my...

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Try a Macedonian Fruit Salad This Summer

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2014 | 12:25 PM


Macedonian fruit salad is a refreshing way to utilize and to showcase all the terrific summertime fruits at your local food markets.

The Macedonian Empire once ruled over a population made up of a highly diverse mix of ethnicities. My recipe for...

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My Gazpacho Soup

(0) Comments | Posted July 22, 2014 | 4:45 PM

2014-07-22-gazcrop1.jpgTomatoes are at their best during late summer. Chilled gazpacho soup is an Andalusian specialty that showcases the humble tomato beautifully.

This recipe offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy those succulent sun-kissed tomatoes, while helping you to cool off from the summer heat.


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Italian Easter Bread

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 2:48 PM

2014-04-14-italianeasterbreadcrop.jpgSpringtime and Easter celebrations throughout the world are centered on things that are young and colorful, such as flowers, bunnies, chicks and colorfully dyed eggs.

In the case of Easter breads, those brilliantly colored eggs are decoratively nestled within the bread....

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My Easter Lamb

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2014 | 10:42 AM

2014-04-05-springflowers.jpgSpring offers us a spectacular insight into the remarkable rebirths that occur in nature. The Easter and Passover holidays coexist beautifully within this lively season. Observance of these holidays traditionally culminates in a feast.

The centerpiece for these festivities is most often lamb, which...

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Italian Easter Pie | Pizza Rustica

(0) Comments | Posted March 24, 2014 | 10:07 AM


Italian Easter Pie holds a solid place in the time-honored food traditions of Easter celebrations for many Italians and non-Italians alike. Year after year, this dish has embraced the heart of Easter, the holiest of all Christian celebrations. It is simply DELICIOUS!


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Laskiaispulla - Scandinavian Sweet Buns For Shrove Tuesday

(1) Comments | Posted March 3, 2014 | 1:58 PM


In Finland,Laskiainen is a day in which children traditionally grab their sleds ( pulkka) and literally head for the hills for a fun day of sleigh riding.

The day that this sleigh riding event takes place is on Shrove Tuesday, also known as...

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Therapeutic Cooking, Nutrition and the Operating Room

(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2014 | 5:34 PM

2014-02-10-HuffPostnutrition.jpgCooking is an act of love and giving. Those who truly possess these qualities are the ones who cook exceptionally well and enjoy their cooking careers. A love for the culinary arts and wanting to help people obtain a sense of well-being...

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Hot Maine Lobster Dip: Super Bowl Sunday!

(1) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 10:01 AM

2014-01-28-crabdipHuffPost.jpgRegardless of what team you're rooting for, I have a wonderful and absolutely delicious recipe to satisfy all Super Bowl fans.

This lobster dip will satisfy the "bowl" aspect of this time honored championship game.

Simply follow the recipe below, hollow out...

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Homage to Ingredients

(0) Comments | Posted January 24, 2014 | 3:45 PM

As a chef, I think it's important to reflect and pay homage to the vast array of foods provided by nature. A true sense of understanding along with a simple appreciation for this marvelous gift is a direct way to connect to this bountiful phenomenon. At times we lose sight...

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Cotechino con Lenticche -- Traditional Italian New Year Dish

(0) Comments | Posted December 30, 2013 | 4:02 PM

2013-12-26-cotechinowithlentilscrop.jpgCotechino con Lenticchie is a traditional Italian pork sausage and lentil dish for the new year.

This traditional dish combines two of Italy's culinary symbols of good luck -- the lentil and the pig.

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Clams Oreganata: Feast of the Seven Fishes

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2013 | 9:13 AM

2013-12-18-clamsoreganata3.jpgA Christmas Eve meal for many Roman Catholics, and in particular Italian families, is a meal that is absent of all meat and is traditionally focused around fish dishes.

The Christmas Eve meal is all about eating fish -- seven different kinds...

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German Lebkuchen: The Original Gingerbread

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2013 | 5:01 PM

2013-12-11-Germanlebkuchen.jpgHolidays are when traditions take center stage.

Every culture has their own special way of celebrating the holidays with their specific holiday foods. In this holiday post I want to share one recipe that embodies the holidays in a very special...

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Holiday Roast: Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder -- Pear, Ginger Chutney

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 3:38 PM

2013-12-09-Roastshoulderofpork11.jpgHoliday season is roasting season!

Roasting is a sure and easy way to prepare a delicious main course meal that can feed a great number of people with minimal work for the cook. Roasting requires only a few simple steps that will ensure a...

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Holiday Snowball Cookies

(1) Comments | Posted December 4, 2013 | 10:03 AM

2013-12-03-Snowballcookies.jpgIt's time for Christmas Carols and Holiday Cookies!

Snowball cookies are a holiday treat that are traditionally baked in my home and left for Santa Claus under the tree on Christmas Eve.

Holiday Snowball Cookies

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Struffoli: Italian Christmas Tradition

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2013 | 7:19 PM

Struffoli is a Neapolitan dessert that is traditionally prepared at Christmastime.

2013-12-03-Struffolinapoletani1.jpgIt is made of tiny dough balls that have been deep-fried and soaked in honey.

They are served piled high on plates and serving trays. Some like to form them in...

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Thanksgiving Turkey: Arborio Rice Stuffing

(1) Comments | Posted November 20, 2013 | 2:40 PM

Thanksgiving Turkey with Arborio Rice Stuffing


Turkey - 6 1/2 - 7 lbs.
Ground Beef - 3/4 lb.
Onion - medium ( finely chopped)
Arborio Rice - 1/2 cup
Pine Nuts -...

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Cooking at Sea! Employment of Cruise Line Chefs

(0) Comments | Posted November 8, 2013 | 11:40 AM

Would you like to know more about cooking at sea?

For a number of years, I worked aboard cruise ships. I enjoyed visiting exciting ports of call, broadening my horizons and making lasting friendships, while honing my skills as a chef. I'm often asked by cooks, "How can I get...

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King of the Fall Harvest and Pumpkin Mousse Pie!

(0) Comments | Posted October 11, 2013 | 12:47 PM

Autumn is one of the most productive and beautiful times of the year. It is the perfect season for reflection. This multicolored season has the tendency to also be a "pedal to the metal" time as we try to reach those goals that we have not yet accomplished this year....

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