Chef/owner Troy Gagliardo, known most recently for his weekly appearances on Fox News Rising, has opened a casual wood-grilled eatery in the same location near downtown Mooresville where he once operated the higher-end Gagliardo's Grill.
Everything is under $10 at Gagliardo's Grill Express except for the $12 large pizzas.
Everything is grilled in a wood-burning oven, including his pizzas, sandwiches, chicken wings and salads, as Gagliardo has always eschewed the fryer, microwave and freezer. Even his made-from-scratch desserts are finished in the oven.
Everything is fresh. Bread is delivered daily, and produce comes from a farm.
Gagliardo ("gal-lee-ar-doe") uses recipes he developed over 20 years, plus his patented spice blend.
Gagliardo, his wife, Tracy, and their two daughters live near the Mooresville Golf Course, five minutes from the eatery.
A Michigan native, Gagliardo, 40, has lived in Mooresville since he was 14. "At Mooresville Junior High, I was the only one not from here," he said. (Now almost everyone here is from somewhere else.)
Gagliardo said he had a head start in the industry, hailing from an Italian-American family who loved to cook. His mother's side also grew and canned their vegetables.
Before opening his original restaurant in October 2005, Gagliardo learned the operational end of the business, working various jobs at the Carrabba's Italian Grill in Matthews.
He began his weekly Fox News Rising appearances about 21/2 years ago. "I've done over 400 recipes on the show and made 125 appearances," Gagliardo said in an interview at his 64-seat, open-kitchen eatery last week.
Gagliardo sends out weekly e-mail updates so viewers know a day in advance what his menu will be on his Tuesday morning segments. Register by e-mailing email@example.com.
He also has published a cookbook with 225 of his recipes and is producing a 30-minute, 25-episode cooking show called "Throwing Heat."
Gagliardo's Grill Express: 427 E. Statesville Ave., across from Iredell County Government Center South; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays, 4-9 p.m. Saturdays, closed Sundays; 704-662-0707.
Mama's Pizza Express opening in Cornelius
CORNELIUS Mama's Pizza Express will open its second Lake Norman-area location soon in the former LaSpada's Original Philly Cheese Steaks & Hoagies at 19741 S. Main St., beside Cornelius-Lemley Fire & Rescue Station No. 1.
Gaetano "Tommy" Giordano opened his first location in 2008 at Old Statesville and Mount Holly-Huntersville roads in Huntersville.
DeLuca takes the reins at Maddi's bistro
HUNTERSVILLE Peter DeLuca as the new executive chef at Maddi's Southern Bistro in Birkdale Village.
DeLuca has been with Maddi's for a year and has brought in Brittany Ferguson as his sous chef.
DeLuca has cooked professionally for 16 years. He received his formal training at the Art Institute of Charlotte. He is classically French-trained and specializes in American Southern regional cuisine.
View Maddi's menu and make reservations at www.maddissouthernbistro .com .