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Chowhound in the infield

squid-kun | Jun 8, 200304:27 AM

Rich Aurilia steps up to the plate and talks chow in Saturday's Chronicle. The Giants shortstop sounds like a hound. If he didn't play baseball for a living, he would try to be a cook in a restaurant, he says in a feature on the ballclub's promotional page in the sports section.

He does most of the cooking at home, mainly Italian. He grew up eating well in an Italian American neighborhood in Brooklyn, where he says food was "sacred." (Derek, this sounds like your old 'hood!) He's a regular at Trattoria Contadina on Mason Street (some hound reports below), where the veal saltimbocca, added to the menu at his suggestion, is named after him ("Vitello saltimbocca alla Aurilia"). He's even hung out in the kitchen there, learning from the chef, and now does some of those recipes at home. Sounds like my kind of ballplayer.

He is also developing a taste for good wine and is thinking of building a cellar at his house. This year he's struggled a bit at the plate compared with past seasons (.260 BA, 20 RBI so far). Maybe he could find a way to put all those corks to good use.


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