The Palmer family’s cuisine is a tradition passed down from generation to generation.
Specifically, it was the spaghetti and meatballs cooked by the grandmother of longtime Morgan Hill resident Tommy Palmer that always brought the whole family together, sharing stories, creating memories and celebrating life.
When his grandmother passed away in 2017, it set Palmer, a foodie and cook, on a career path focused on Italian cuisine that he continues to pursue.
Palmer is the founder of Palmerino’s, a Morgan Hill-based artisan food operation that sells his hand-cooked pasta and offers home cooking classes.
“The backbone of my business is my grandmother’s spaghetti and meatballs,” he said. “It’s the dish that has brought my family together for all these years. This is the dish that basically pushed me into this career.
Palmer plans to operate a storefront, selling his pasta and other products that make up Italian cuisine, where people can take it home and create their own family memories.
But it turned out to be a difficult process. Palmer said he approached many local building owners and pitched his idea to them. They all loved the concept, he said, but were hesitant due to his lack of business experience and the fact that he was not a certified chef.
“After hearing this enough times, I decided to get a culinary certificate, focusing on Italian cuisine,” Palmer said. “What better place to learn than in Italy?”
After intense research online, Palmer enrolled in the Italian Culinary Institute in Staletti, Italy, under the tutelage of Chef John Nocita.
The crash course, which ran daily for 12 weeks, covered just about everything there is to learn about Italian cooking: baking, ice cream making, wine pairing, curing and more. Palmer graduated in April 2019.
“The amount of stuff we covered increased my expectations tenfold,” he said. “We really covered all the basics that make up Italian cuisine. It was a hell of a time, that’s for sure. »
Now Palmer is taking what he learned back home to Morgan Hill, in memory of his grandmother.
“She was the one who solidified the culinary traditions of our family,” he said. “I wanted to honor him by doing this.”
Palmer said he was lucky to have many talented women in his family who taught him how to cook. He added that he enjoys doing things with his hands, as well as sharing his love of food with others. Hearing feedback from those who eat her food, especially when they say it reminds them of being home, is a rewarding experience, Palmer said.
The Palmerino pasta products available for purchase are vast: fettuccine, farfalle, tagliolini and of course, spaghetti, are just a few of the offerings.
Palmer also offers at-home pasta-making classes, where he provides the ingredients and equipment. Then he will cook a dish with the pasta prepared by the participants.
Although he cooks pasta every day, Palmer doesn’t consider himself a master at it. There is so much to learn, he said, adding that he is constantly working on ways to perfect his craft.
“Food is something I could do every day and it always has surprises in store for me,” he said. “With food, I do something that I personally like to eat. And I love to eat.
For more information, visit palmerinos.com.