Kid in the Kitchen

In a beautiful new tome — part memoir, part cookbook — a prodigal son tells the surprising story of the beloved neighborhood restaurant that bears his name.

Debora Smail
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It was far from assured that Paul Petronella, 40 — scion of Houston’s most prolific extended food family, including Mandolas and Carrabbas and others — would ever run the charming little Italian restaurant in Montrose his parents opened and named after him in 1998. But the would-be mad man — he’d dreamed of being an ad exec — not only took over but also became a leader in the city’s culinary world, spinning off a hot wine bar and helping create the million-dollar charity/bar OKRA. In his new book, Paulie’s, soon available at Paulie’s restaurant and on Amazon, the chef-author tells all. Here, an excerpt.

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