Dear Libby, William and Family,

For decades our families have shared meals together as our bonding of friendship has grown.

Libby and Giovanni have been unbelievable presents in our family’s life at so many occasions.

The Art of Giving… Giovanni was a master at it. There are countless examples of his uplifting generously over the decades we have known him. I should explain some background, that my Libby is Godmother to my youngest son. We subleased our apartment on 91st street in Manhattan to Libby in the 80’s. That is where Giovanni and Libby first met on the corner restaurant where Giovanni had worked at the time. Ahh, but that is Libby’s story to tell.

Kindness…We had attended one of those concerts in Central Park, I think it was in 1991. We attend without children, and one of first outings I wasn’t feeling well, and we went to the Giovanni and Libby’s restaurant for a meal. Giovanni could tell I wasn’t myself. Without a word he brought me a cup of hot water and lemon, encouraging me to drink it. I was so grateful for his kindness and reading the situation like an elder statesman he was, he knew exactly what I needed.

Goodwill gesture and generosity…Giovanni’s talents as a master in the kitchen along with Italian culture always shine through. One Spring, we received a package from Giovanni and Libby. It was a huge Perugina Easter Egg! Both Erik and Peter devour it in days. Their first experience with fine Italian chocolate, which was a subtle hint that Giovanni was behind the gift.  A few years later, came Peter’s Confirmation. Naturally Libby and Giovanni were invited for her role of in the event. Libby attended that day, but Giovanni was there in spirit and calories! After the church, we had a gathering at the house where we had a luncheon. I had arranged for a Kransekage, a traditional Danish celebration that my cousin had made that came to the states for this special occasion. When we arrived at the house, Libby brings in two large trays of Tiramisu that Giovanni had made. We celebrated the occasion, like so many as one of many Danish/Italian events.

The list of benevolence gestures that Giovanni has given our family is immeasurable over the years. The lack of exchange in words he made up in actions Since our family doesn’t speak. Italian. We have learned to listen to Giovanni in another way, through the heart and facial expressions, (almost, like emoji before texting).  Our friendship and love was never a barrier.

Giovanni, you will be greatly missed. Salute, Skol, and Ciao, Pa gensyn, until we meet again!

With So Much Love,

The Storm Family,

Anna, Erik, Peter and Gary

P.S. Giovanni’s cooking also inspired me to take a cooking class while I visited Italy in 2016. Hence the recipe I am sharing. His true knowledge of flavors, richness, blending of textures and smells with grace has educated me to know a truly excellent meal.

Shared by Anna Kathrina Storm and Family