Chicago Tribune

Chicago veteran chef John Coletta takes a deep look at Italian rice

CHICAGO - On one of the first warm days in Chicago this spring, if you had strolled by the outdoor tables at Quartino, you would have seen pizzas sliced and pastas twirled.

If you'd ventured inside, you might also have spotted founding chef and partner John Coletta, who opened the Italian restaurant on the Near North Side 13 years ago, leading the way to the upstairs balcony since it was bathed in rare spring sunlight.

But it seemed almost too warm for his trim sport coat and impeccably polished shoes, and I asked to move back inside to the quiet bar. I needed to better hear why he'd written his new cookbook, "Risotto & Beyond: 100 Authentic Italian Rice Recipes for

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