Hot From The Kettle: Ryan DePersio & Dinner with the Baristas


Ryan DePersio, owner of Fascino, 331 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, and Bar Cara, 1099 Broad St., Bloomfield, spent an evening giving the Baristas a cooking lesson. (In the photo, from left: Erika Bleiberg, Stacey Gill Dastis, Debbie Galant, Ryan DePersio, Liz George, Georgette Gilmore, Melody Kettle)

We worked along side the Chopped Chef as he taught us how to make Ricotta Gnocchi, Sweet Sausage Bolognese and Tuscan Fish Stew. Like Fred Astaire on the dance floor, DePersio made his art look easy. Watch the video to see the editorial team get their hands in the mix and try to imitate his every move.

Ryan shared his recipes with us. Here they are:

Ricotta Gnocchi
3 lb. ricotta (drained)
3 cups all purpose flour
2 eggs

In a bowl, mix in ingredients until a soft dough forms. If the dough is a little sticky, you can add a little flour to form a dough consistency. Take pieces of dough and roll and cut into gnocchi form. Blanch in boiling water and shock in ice water. Or, you can sear with brown butter or heat with melted butter.

Sweet Sausage Bolognese
3 lb sweet sausage (removed form casing)

1 Spanish onion
1 can whole tomatoes in juice
canola oil
1 cup white wine
1Tbsp chopped basil

In a large pot add canola oil. When the pot is hot, add sausage. Distribute around the pan evenly to get food color. Once the sausage is browned, add onions and stir every three minutes until the onions are caramelized.
Deglaze with white wine. Reduce for five minutes and add canned tomatoes. Cook on low for forty-five minutes. Use a potato masher to break up the sausage if it is still holding its shape. Season with basil, salt and red pepper flakes, then cool in an ice bath

Shellfish Chowder
1 cup mirepoix (small dice of carrots, onions, celery)
¼ cup of small dice of fennel
½ cup of diced potatoes
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
¼ cup of basil (julienne)
6 Little Neck Clams

6 P.E.I. Mussels
4 Black Tiger Shrimp
¼ cup Peekytoe Crab meat
1 cup white wine
1 cup brandy
½ cup heavy cream
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp cayenne
¼ tsp fennel seed (ground)
Place all spices in a sauté pan and toast on medium heat for four minutes, constantly stirring. Set aside on a plate until cool, then grind.
Place oil and butter in a large pot on high heat. When butter begins to foam add mirepoix and fennel and sweat on medium heat for ten minutes. Add spice mixture, potatoes, garlic, clams, mussels, and shrimp. Deglaze with wine and brandy, then cover. When clams begin to open add cream and cook on low heat for five minutes. Add crab meat and basil. Serve.


  1. Hey y’all. Watching the youtubes vid of bro Ryan Depersio. Seems like Ryan is a next level alt with “mad” tattoos who is aware of his personal brand (via facial hair). Kinda feel like he “tries too hard”. Wonder if he is into Kings of Leon or more authentic chill waves? Thinking about wearing kick ass sneakers and bloggable jeans to my next partie. Want to let every1 know I am focused on the important things in life.

    Should I grow facial hair?
    Is the cool dad look so 2K9?
    Did Ryan “crush it” with the cougars?
    Is cooking a meaningful career?
    Do you <3 dinner parties?

  2. Ladies (and more specifically Melody), Nice informative and fun piece. Made we want to make gnocchi with my kids (probably a bad idea!)

    One suggestion to Baristanet in general, it would be a helpful courtesy if you would caption your photos. Thanks!

  3. Also, what is “bail julienne?” A bond offered up by a bondsman named Julian? As for Black Tiger shrimp, aren’t they a farm-raised variety? What, you folks have something against a catch caught in American waters by American shrimpers?

  4. “And the point of this item, its contribution to the cause of “community journalism,” was what exactly?”

    Dreams of Sweet Sausage Bolognese, and the caramelization of onions, of course.

  5. Has anyone eaten at Bar Cara? It looks like a good atmosphere to go and grab a drink and have some tasty food. I regret that I didn’t make it there over the summer to sit outside and enjoy.

  6. I’ve eaten at Bar Cara. I found it passable and fairly usual for “high end” Jersey dining. i.e. nothing special.

  7. Fascino left me cold.

    But I’m with cathar in having exactly NO idea what this “story” is about other than to scream (in a rather too obvious way) WE GET PERKS (and ISN’T HE CUTE?).

    Though his way-too-manicured facial hair screamed KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!!

    And did we really need the Porn-induced music when the gnocchi was being rolled?

    But I can’t wait for the Barista’s night out at ShopRite.

    Is this a new feature?

  8. I think the point is to get some recipes and see how a few foods are made by a local chef. This is a food story on the food section of Baristanet.

    I kind of liked the porn music in the gnocchi scene. I thought it added a nice touch of… familiarity. Maybe you were taken aback when the chopping began?

  9. “This is a food story on the food section of Baristanet.”


    Not for me, it was just listed along with the others, which goes to show how confusing it all is here now.

    Oh, well. I just hope next time ZOD shows up the ladies wear black leather outfits (complete with knew high boots!) like Zod’s henchwoman, Ursa, wore in the Superman movies.

    Perhaps they could try them on at the relaunch of Dressing for Pleasure??

    I’d pay to see that video (because, the Barista’s are HOT!!!)

  10. Holy smokes! What a bunch of gorgeous women!. Except for the one with the beard. This must be what heaven looks like.

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