The Story Of Maine’s Luigi Del Conte Sauces + A Recipe!
We sat down with Luigi Del Conte to learn a little more about his story and the sauces you might have seen popping up at grocery stores across the state of Maine and further. Visit Luigi Del Conte Sauces Website
Who Is Luigi Del Conte?
At the age of 14, Luigi’s passion for cooking started in his family’s small tavern-style kitchen in Wildwood Crest, N.J.
Growing up, Luigi had always found himself working in the front of the house at restaurants in Wildwood Crest. Many years later, in 1996, on a frigid winter day in Maine, Luigi decided it was time to open his own restaurant; a small Italian Restaurant located in Bar Harbor, Maine.
On that cold winter day, he began cultivating his culinary craft. He begins designing a menu, a budget breakdown, and putting together the business plan with a pen and paper. Following the business plan, he ventured to Bar Harbor (Maine) to find the ideal restaurant location, and in doing so, he found one vacant building that was a just shell with little to no equipment. He went to work, creating a full list of all the equipment he would need, and headed to the bank. After the rigorous workload of getting everything together, the small Italian restaurant Luigi had once dreamed about was finally becoming a reality!
While in the kitchen, Luigi found himself canning a multitude of his sauces for customers who couldn’t seem to get enough. They’d come to the back of the restaurant, night after night, to pick up their jars full of handmade, delicious sauces.
Everything was finally coming together for Luigi and his restaurant. He had even just helped a friend open a new restaurant in Southwest Harbor. Unfortunately, during the Great Recession of 2008, he, like so many business owners, was forced to seal the doors of his eatery; putting an end to the restaurant that he had worked so hard on and put himself out of a job.
The Start Of Luigi Del Conte Sauces
It was 2014, and Luigi knew he was on to something, back when the restaurant was up and running. He knew that people couldn’t get enough of his sauces, and that’s when the idea of Luigi Del Conte Sauces started.
Luigi had never canned professionally before, but his wife had books and pages from her late mother that she had held onto that explained the process of canning fruits, vegetables, and sauces. A few great connections in the community helped Luigi finalize his recipes and master the canning process. He was finally ready. With just two unemployment checks and The First National Bank’s backing, Luigi dived in at full speed.
Working with local businesses and sharing their commercial kitchens, Luigi produced a pallet’s worth of sauces to sell. He loaded a box truck and headed south to Florida, wherein just one month, he had his sauces in 8 stores, and had run out of product.
Today, you can find Luigi Del Conte Sauces in 42 Wholefoods, 86 Hannaford (Soon to be 189!), Central Market Grocery Stores in Texas, Fairways Market, North Atlantic Markets, and so many small but major grocery stores throughout Maine & New England.
What’s Next? Dressings!
Luigi has been in the kitchen perfecting two signature dressing recipes! You’ll be able to find these gourmet flavorings in-store and on his website before this upcoming summer of 2021!
Luigi’s Most Visited Restaurants?
Chippers Restaurant– Exquisite local seafood & prime steaks. Casual atmosphere with fine dining experience. Food prepared by our two Chefs. Great wine list & full bar. As most fine dining experiences, food service is about an hour and a half. Reservations recommended.
Serendib Indian And Sri Lankan Restaurant – Serendib is a restaurant that serves a unique combination of Indian and Sri Lankan cuisines. We are conveniently located right in the middle of downtown Ellsworth, at the intersection of Main and Water Street. At Serendib, you will find a pleasant atmosphere, friendly service, and above all, good food!
Provender Kitchen + Bar – Provender Kitchen + Bar offers guests a welcoming combination of modern American fare along with a wide variety of local beer and craft cocktails.
The Crocker House – Perhaps the most extraordinary feature of the Inn is its cuisine. While breakfast is reserved for our guests, the dining room is open to the public for dinner. Selections from the menu are prepared to order, including the garden-fresh vegetables. Bread and desserts are made daily in our kitchen. To complement the evening fare, we offer an extensive wine and imported beer list, as well as a fully stocked bar.
Spicy Chicken Ala Vodka Recipe
Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
- 4 pieces Skinless Chicken Breast (cutlet) thin
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pound Penne Pasta
- 1 16oz Luigi Del Conte Spicy ala Vodka Sauce
- In a large sauté pan, add olive oil and heat on medium-high heat. Brown chicken on both sides and remove from the pan.
- Dice chicken and place back in the pan. Add Luigi Del Conte Spicy ala Vodka Sauce and simmer for 7 minutes.
- Cook Penne pasta according to instructions on the box.
- Once pasta is cool, place in 4 separate bowls and cover with chicken and sauce. Serve.