By Andy Tarnoff Publisher Published Jun 05, 2008 at 6:55 PM

Is it just me, or does Milwaukee native and world-class Las Vegas chef Paul Bartolotta show up everywhere these days?

My monthly "Esquire" magazine showed up in the mail today, and after dinner, I started flipping through the issue. On the bottom of page 38, Bartolotta explains how to avert "Minor catastrophe no. 138: You've been invited to a potluck."

His instructions are as follows:

  1. Boil 24 tiger prawns (peeled and deveined) for five minutes. At four minutes, throw in 3 cups cannelloni beans (canned). Strain into a bowl.
  2. Add 2 pints cherry tomatoes (quartered), 1 cup of olive oil (extra virgin), a handful of basil leaves (torn), salt and pepper (pinched).
  3. Casually mention that it's not from a deli. Hand to host with a smile (self-satisfied).

Ironically, had someone asked me, I would've suggested going straight to the deli, but I've never been invited to battle the "Iron Chef." And I've dined at Bartolotta's amazing Ristorante di Mare at the Wynn Casino, then spent a memorable night on the town with the master, himself.

So, when Paul says get the prawns, I'll take his advice.

Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.

Before launching in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.

Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.