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Richard DeLeo's Autobiography (submitted 4/13/06)
My name is Richard. I am the youngest of three children. My family is of Italian descent. When my relatives first came to America they arrived at Ellis Island.
Most of my life was spent in South Philadelphia, although I did spend twelve years in North East Philadelphia.
We owned a family restaurant in South Philadelphia. It attracted large crowds from the stadium complexes as well as people on their way home from concerts.
Celebrities and local athletes would come in from time to time. Once Elton John came to our restaurant. He hadn't been gone too long when my mother realized that he had left his watch at the table! Everything worked out fine because the watch was returned.
For a while I worked as a cook in our restaurant, and developed an interest in preparing and eating all sorts of foods. To this day I enjoy going to local markets and finding interesting new foods to prepare.
Growing up one of my favorite activities was going to local area theaters. Also, I was a huge fan of hockey. Some of the greatest experiences I had were going to the former ice rink at 17th and Market Streets. Playing hockey at that rink prepared me for playing in high school.
My father always enjoyed taking me hunting, mostly for small game such as squirrels and rabbits. Most often we would cook what we got from the hunt. My history as a hunter, combined with my history as a cook, has allowed me to be very open to preparing new types of food.