Photo Slideshow: Primi Ristorante Italiano, St. Petersburg

At age 10, while other kids were riding bikes and playing tag, Tony Macaroni was in the kitchen of his family's Brooklyn home learning the art of making hand-crafted mozzarella.

His father, his instructor, was teaching the finer points of cooking -- a tradition common among Italian men and their sons.

Fast forward 30 years to today and you'll find Executive Chef Macaroni (yes, that is his family name) working and pulling curd into soft shapes of fresh mozzarella at Primi Ristorante Italiano in downtown St Petersburg.

Macaroni and sous chef Kenneth Kopcsik work daily to make every menu item from scratch and use all local fish and produce, in addition to chicken, beef, veal and lamb.

Moving from the Garden State six years ago, Macaroni says he stays in Tampa Bay to take advantage of Clearwater's white sand beaches, Ybor City's lively night-life and Downtown St Pete's fabulous art scene.

83 Degrees Managing Photographer Julie Branaman stepped into Macaroni's kitchen for a step-by-step look at the art of mozzarella making. Watch the photo slideshow as Chef Tony explains how to make the delicate cheese by hand.

Comments? Contact 83 Degrees.

Read more articles by Julie Branaman.

Julie Branaman is a Sustainable Environment Video Creator, Editor, and Multimedia Photojournalist pursuing new visual experiences around the nation. Now based in Los Angeles, she and her husband James founded The Branamans Video Production. Julie is the former Managing Photographer at 83 Degrees and once worked as a photographer at The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com, and News Channel 8. Prior to arriving in the Tampa Bay Area, she freelanced in the Seattle area, working on national and international stories. She's a graduate of Western Kentucky University. When not making images, she and James are likely to be found hiking, kayaking, or snorkeling their way around California, Florida, Maine, the National Park System, and America's unique landscapes in between.