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.