ciao, dominic cerino

Last week, Cleveland lost a great man, husband, father, brother, friend and yes, chef. Dominic Cerino was 55.

I first met him about 5 or 6 years ago. Admittedly, I was not a fan of Carrie Cerino’s nor was I looking forward to my assignment from Cleveland Magazine to review one of their pasta dishes. Shame on me. Not because I wasn’t anticipating my assignment, but because I was judging a book (the restaurant) purely by its cover. I have never been happier to be so wrong.

That interview led to a friendship with Dominic Cerino. I quickly became won over by his cooking, his passion, his never-ending stories and mostly by the genuine kindness he showed. He was a good man.

I had the privilege of interviewing him. Those interviews were filled with laughter, learnings, our shared obsession with Babbo, and of course — full and content bellies. You can read about them here.

A lot of people think about Blue Egg Ravioli when they think of Dominic’s signature dishes. Not me. I think of his Norcia lentils that he made me several times and eventually passed on the recipes. I make these short ribs several times a year – especially when I am entertaining a big group of family and friends. Because I can’t think of a better dish for loved ones to gather around and enjoy.

Rest in peace, Dominic. You left a profound mark on many and will be missed by all.

Dominic’s Short Ribs

  • ½ c olive oil
  • lawrys seasoning salt (his not-so-secret ingredient)
  • flour to dust ribs

Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottom brazier. Season the short ribs, dust lightly with flour then caramelize on all sides. Remove then add:

  • ½ c pancetta, slides ¼ in thick and diced
  • 2 c diced onions
  • 1 c diced carrots
  • 1 c diced celery
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • ½ T salt (maybe less, depends on the quality of your pancetta)

Sautee in same oil as short ribs. Cook until they start to brown, then add:

  • ½ bottle chianti or Barolo – a favorite of Dominic’s
  • 2 – 3 whole cloves
  • 1 or two whole rosemary sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

Stir well and bring to a boil. Add short ribs back. Cover loosely for proper reduction. Simmer lightly for 4 hours or until fork tender. Remove ribs and strain the liquid. Allow fat to rise and remove. Adjust seasoning – if needed – and serve over ribs. Enjoy!



  1. BQRC23
    Posted June 2, 2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Lovely post. Thanks for sharing the recipe for the short ribs. I wasn’t anticipating that inclusion, but was very pleasantly surprised. I just might have to make them in honor of a man many admired.

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  1. […] Ciao, Dominic Cerino, she writes about his cooking, his kindness and a recipe for short ribs to remember him […]