Joe Zanotti Describe How Cooking is Like Engineering

In Lifestyle, Personal, Professionals on September 20, 2011 at 2:57 pm
 Joe Zanotti

Joe Zanotti

Joe Zanotti believes his love of cooking is tied to his work as an engineer. Like engineering, Joe Zanotti says, cooking has a certain number of truths and rules, with equipment, “tools of the trade” used to apply those truths. There is a science to cooking as there is in engineering. And just like engineering, Joe Zanotti says, cooking is an art. Within the rules is an ability to be creative, and therein lies the expression of one’s individuality. While Joe Zanotti finds himself spending great amounts of time managing and guiding projects, he finds the real enjoyment in being able to just focus on the design aspects of projects, creating the final product. Cooking allows Joe Zanotti to influence the design, trying out different methods until he gets his desired end product. And, better yet, cooking is a project that doesn’t take weeks to complete, says Joe Zanotti. “You can see and enjoy you efforts in a few hours.

When he isn’t experimenting with recipes in his own kitchen, Joe Zanotti likes to travel, trying out the area’s favorite foods. For instance, while visiting friends near Chesapeake Bay, Joe Zanotti likes to buy fresh, spicy crabs by the bushel. “Bring them home, cook corn on the cob, have some vinegar slaw…” Joe Zanotti begins. “Sit on the deck and eat crabs and drink beer for hours. Your hands get cut up from the shells, spices all over your face…rather messy but entirely good!”

Another of Joe Zanotti’s favorite foods is sushi. “The most amazing place to eat sushi is at the giant fish market at the Tokyo bay in Japan. This is a very large outdoor market where all the boats dock and bring in their catch of the day. They bring in so many sea creatures that we just do not see in the USAS. Lining the open market are maybe 25 or so small sushi shops. Talk about fresh. It cannot not get any better!”

About Joe Zanotti

For Joe Zanotti, family heritage has always been important. Growing up in Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Joe Zanotti was always aware of his Italian and Slovak heritage enjoying the culture, foods and curtoms. In fact, he spent many weekends and long summer weeks at his grandparents’ house in the nearby mill town of Braeburn.

Joe Zanotti has lived in Pennsylvania most of his life, mostly near Pittsburgh. After graduating from Burrell Senior High School, Joe Zanotti attended the Pennsylvania State University, where he majored in civil engineering. During college, he was an invited member of both the Chi Epsilon Honorary Society and Tau Beta Pi Honorary Society, both national engineering societies for honors students. Joe Zanotti attended graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh, where he studied structural engineering.

An experienced structural engineer with more than 31 years in the field, Joe Zanotti often travels throughout the USA and overseas for work. Joe Zanotti is currently employed by Camp, Dresser, & McKee, Inc., a worldwide engineering firm based in Pittsburgh. Joe Zanotti’s work often stations him in many Asian countries such as Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam and in Middle-East countries such as Israel.  He considers working overseas, such as when he helped rebuild a Catholic church in tsunami-damaged Banda Aceh, Indonesia, an experience that has been life changing.

Prior to Camp, Dresser, & McKee, Joe Zanotti was project design manager for MPS Corporation in Leetsdale. He worked as a structural engineer for Sargent & Lundy Engineers in Chicago, as well as Dravo Engineers in Pittsburgh. His professional associations include the American Society of Civil Engineers, International Concrete Repair Institute, for which he serves on the board of directors, and American Concrete Institute, for which he is a subcommittee member on the national level.

An avid golfer, Joe Zanotti has had the privilege of golfing everywhere from overseas in Asia to many top courses in the USA. Joe Zanotti began golfing at the age of fifteen, at a tiny 9-hole course near his house where greens fees were only $3-$4 a day.  For years, he was part of an annual golf retreat comprised mostly of former Pennsylvania State graduates. Joe Zanotti is an avid cook and would maybe enjoy attending chef school when retired. He is a lover of great wine and while he wouldn’t consider himself a connoisseur, Joe Zanotti keeps 40-50 bottles of wine in his basement at all times.

Born in 1958, Joe Zanotti currently resides in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, where he has lived since 1988. Joe Zanotti is registered as a professional engineer in eleven states, including Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, Indiana, and the District of Columbia. He is single, with no children, has a brother, sister, nieces and a nephew and both of his parents are still alive.

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