For Mother's Day, we asked local chefs to share a family recipe that they loved making with a maternal figure in their life. Joseph Leibowitz, Executive Chef at Encore Boston Harbor, shared this family recipe for potato gnocchi.

“From a very young age, I had two women in my life that I always looked up to and admired for what they did in the kitchen,” he told us. “My grandmother and mom played silent but very influential roles in my life and really made me realize the path that I wanted to take as a young professional. Seeing them cooking and organizing (and, of course, yelling!) at family gatherings put a feeling of curiosity and enlightenment in my life that I can say has helped me become the chef I am today.

”Being a home cook is almost as difficult as being a professional chef as you are cooking for the most critical guests (your own family — and everyone in my family has an opinion or something to say!) But, I think that's what gave me a very thick skin when it came to cooking for actual guests. I owe them both a great deal of gratitude, and I only hope that they are as proud of me as I was of them when I was a child.“

Joseph Leibowitz's Recipe for Potato Gnocchi


  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • Salt to taste


Boil the potatoes with skin on until soft and tender. While the potatoes are still warm, pass through a ricer.

On a floured surface, add the potato and create a well. Crack the egg into well and add 1 1/2 cups of the flour and begin forming your dough. Do not over-work. Once the dough is formed, cut into four even portions.

Roll out the portions into long logs, and cut the gnocchi into 1/2 inch logs. Do this for all four larger logs formed from the dough. Continue sprinkling flour on top of logs to keep them from getting too wet.

After all of the small logs are rolled, take each one and run them on the back of a large dinner fork to give the gnocchi indents.

Place a large stockpot of heavily salted water on the stove and bring to a rolling simmer. Once simmering, drop the gnocchi in and cook until they float; should be about 3-4 minutes. Serve with any sauce you desire.

A man in a white chef uniform sits next two two women, dressed in black, at a formal dining room table.
Leibowitz with his mother and grandmother.
Courtesy of Joseph Leibowitz