Why Italian Women Don't Get Fat

Melissa Kelly, the chef at Italian-inspired Primo in Maine, tells how to stay slim—and eat cannoli too—in a terrific new cookbook.

When chef Melissa Kelly was growing up on New York's Long Island, she was embarrassed that her mom packed minestrone in her lunch box. Today she's a minestrone master, creating fantastic Southern Italian–inspired recipes for her flagship restaurant, Primo, in Rockland, Maine, and its offshoots, including the one at the new JW Marriott Starr Pass resort in Tucson. Kelly has just published her first cookbook, Mediterranean Women Stay Slim, Too, in which she shares her tasty, naturally healthy recipes and fires off advice on following a balanced diet. "Be a food snob," she exhorts. "I won't bother with mediocre cannoli, but when I'm in Sicily, I might eat one every day," she says.

PUBLISHED April 2006

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