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A Recipe for Bittersweet Lasagna by Chef Aric Bianchi

Updated: May 20

My mom made the best lasagna. (of course, right?) It was very simple, and very defined; It had Italian sausage, cheese, ground beef with very little sauce, she always served the sauce on side. You could see the layers in Lasagna very clearly. She had her secret ingredients as well which I’m not gonna tell ya. Many years ago, she lived with my wife, Yukari and I for a while after she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. One afternoon, Yukari and my mom decided to make lasagna, this meant I did all the cooking and they sat around and told me everything that I was doing was wrong. (Really, who’s the professional here?) They were having fun and my mom didn’t have many of those days anymore. So I just rolled with it.

Margaret Bianchi
Momma Marge-Phil's favorite photo of her

We eventually finished the lasagna. My mom moved on and then passed away not long after that. Lasagna would be the last dish we cooked together. Years later, my brother Phil, who was more like a father figure to me than a brother, also was suffering from a disease. This one was more self inflicted, but he suffered nonetheless.

The 3 Bianchi Brothers
From Left: Jay, Phil & Aric

I was day bartending at Sancho’s Broken Arrow just days before Yukari and I were supposed to move to Mexico. Phil and I had ordered lasagna for lunch that day, and Yukari stopped by while we were having lunch, so I shared my lasagna with her. The three of us had a great conversation, and had very good lunch together. My brother Phil, passed away that night, and the last meal we had together was lasagna.

Piece of meat lasagna on a plate with tomato sauce underneath it presented well
See the layers?

When I see lasagna on a menu, I usually order it, usually disappointed by it, and my thought always go to my mom and my brother. I miss them much, and I am grateful to have something that reminds of them both. I have not made lasagna in a very long time. Maybe it’s time, but it will be still bittersweet… Our new beginning-In memory of Philip Bianchi & Margaret Bianchi By Yukari Bianchi

The Three Bianchi's in 5280 Magazine
Left: Phil Top: Aric Bottom: Jay from 5280 Magazine

July 14th was our beloved “Momma” Marge - Margaret Bianchi’s birthday who originally showed Chef Aric how to cook with love. After “Momma” Marge passed away, Phil and our dear friend, Kiendl got together and started "A Mini Fundraising Event" at Quixote’s True Blue Cafe in 2005. (It was a part of the Bianchi’s bar at one point) Then, it became an annual event, and the event got bigger and bigger each year, and we ended up using Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom after a few years later. (which, was also a part of the Bianchi’s venue at one point) That was the magic Phil had. His personality, his power to grab people’s hearts, and his charisma made so many great networks and unique friendships through Sancho’s Broken Arrow and made this event successful.

July 14, 2017, our beloved big brother, Philip Alan Bianchi passed away, and the above blog Aric wrote was the last memory he left for us; We were laughing, eating the same dish we all loved. We hugged Phil, it was just an “Adios” hug before we were moving to Mexico, but unfortunately, the hug became the final good bye from him to us.

Phil making a piece sign with his fingers over his heart while standing behind a bar
Phil-who had the biggest heart

In memory of Phil, and also remembering how much he cared about people he loved and his own special community, we decided to follow his footprints. Chef Aric’s other brother Jay and we got together and thought through how we can celebrate these two very important family members who greatly impacted all of our lives.

This past year was rough for all of us, but now finally Covid restrictions has been lifted, Jay was able to re-open his newest place,

“So Many Roads Museum & Brewery” with a new brewery master who just created “Sancho’s Broken Ale”. We came up with “A Mini Fundraising Event” to celebrate their very first own beer “Sancho’s Broken Ale” in honor of Phil’s life, Chef Aric and I will be also honoring the last memory we had with Phil, and the laughter we shared with “Momma” Marge by making our favorite “Meat Lasagna” and Chef Aric’s signature dish, “Veggie Lasagna” as a pop-up restaurant, and we’ll be donating all profits from this sale to Fitzsimons Crisis Center. So, Please join us, celebrate the lives of our beloved brother, Philip Alan Bianchi and “Momma” Marge Bianchi on July 14, 2021 at So Many Roads Museum & Brewery, listen to some cool music, try “Sancho’s Broken Ale” and our delicious lasagna!

Phil and Marge side hugging holding small drink glasses smiling at the camera
Phil & "Momma" Marge, We all miss deeply...

We’ll have more details on this event very soon. Please check back on our Facebook Page, Instagram, and our website often! ~Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.~

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Michael Ross
Michael Ross
Jul 04, 2021

The Fitzsimmons Crisis Unit and CSU rescued me (along with Jay helping, too), hence about 300 Tuesday nights jammin' at Quixote's and Be On Key. I miss Phil.


What a beautiful blog post. May your event be filled with much love ❤️ ❤️❤️

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