Saturday, January 16, 2016

Robert N. Chiappetta, 1927-2016

A Wisconsin Boy and His Beer
Although the date on this post is the 16th of January, I backdated it. A lot. It's almost the first of February as I write this. I just couldn't bring myself to write this post any sooner and even now, I'm struggling to get the words out. It's taken me a half an hour just to commit these few sentences to virtual paper, so raw still are my emotions.

I have been blessed to have had two great and wonderful fathers-in-law. Both have now passed on from this life and because of my profession, I feel cursed to have been unable to attend either funeral. It is times like this that make me hate this profession that requires me to carry on while others celebrate, relax, meet, and even grieve. It is times such as these that make me feel less than human.

But, carry on we do, us chefs; even with heavy hearts we do what we do best: we feed people. It was a foregone conclusion, at least in my mind, that I would provide the food for the reception after Bob's funeral. It's what I do: I feed people. And in my own way, this was my tribute to Bob.

After the funeral in McLean on Saturday the 16th, we held that reception for close family at our house in Winchester. The Chiappettas are not a small clan; they are the prototypical sprawling Italian herd of a family. Bob was the last surviving of ten siblings, each of whom had many children and so on: they took their admonishment to be fruitful quite literally. Their tree has so many branches that few of them are certain how they are related to the others. We had at least 50 of them in attendance, including about 20 children. I had hoped to have a bunch of people pictures for this post but I was too busy playing host and welcoming everyone to our home. So sadly, all I have are photos from the setup, before everyone arrived.

And I finish this with the best photo that I ever took of Bob. Something about him sitting there on a beautiful spring day dozing in the sunshine speaks to me. Bob, I wish you spring days and naps wherever you are now.



  1. Beautiful post. Wish I met Bob — fortunately I can easily see the best of his qualities in his daughter Ann. Thinking of you both.

    Drew & Bill

  2. Greatly enjoyed the few occasions I spoke with him. He was, and will continue to be, a rare breed of gentlemen. RIP Bob.


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