Eric Moshier

Why Because he and wife Loren Falsone, co-owner of Empire, improvise intelligent variations on Italian cuisine.

Born Lancaster, PA, 1968.

Education Johnson &; Wales, Providence.

Experience Al Forno, in Providence.

First thing cooked Muffins, from a recipe he found on a box of Wheaties.

Early food memories Moshier grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania. "We raised chickens, and we always had a pig and a cow. I was very much a meat eater. I was a big boy."

How he met his wife At a bus stop on the way to culinary school. "I was a teaching assistant, an employee of the school, and Loren was a student. Our dating was very naughty. It's not allowed at all."

What they served at their wedding reception "We roasted a pig."

Favorite cookbooks Outlaw Cook by John Thorne and Honey from a Weed by Patience Gray.

Favorite snack stop Butler's Colonial Doughnuts in North Kingston, RI.

Favorite kitchen tool A French rolling pin, a gift from his wife.

Favorite wine Cosentino's The Novelist 1997, a white Meritage. "I had it with steak, and it held up really well for a white wine."

Won Best New Chef at: Empire, Providence, RI (closed)