"Food culture of foreign countries is what inspires me most."


What made you want to become a chef?

I grew up in my parents’ restaurant but I never thought about becoming a chef. After graduating in law one day I entered in the restaurant kitchen to help my mom and I lasted the passion which still keeps me at the stove today.
Who has influenced your cooking style or your philosophy on food?
Alain Passard.
What inspires you or where do you get your inspiration from?
My wife Anna and I love to travel and curiosity over different culture. Therefore food culture of foreign countries is what inspires me most.
What is your favourite method of cookery or preparation?
If I were part of a big classic French kitchen brigade I would definitely be a saucier, because I really love to create sauces for vegetables and just slightly cooked seafood.
What is your favourite ingredient?

What is your favourite kitchen tool?
A powerful blender.

What is your favourite section in the kitchen to work on during your apprenticeship?
Cold starters section.

Where you like to eat out?
Very simple food venues, like pizzerias and trattorias.

What would you like to see change with the cook schools?
I would like that the school leave more time to practice in real kitchens.

Your advice to young chefs?
Always do your best.

What do you look for when hiring staff?
Intelligent people who can fillet fish

What would you like to see change in the industry?
I would really like to see colleagues more focused on developing and serving tasty dishes and less obsession with aesthetic.
How do you deal with awkward guests?
Everyone is awkward in its way. Of course I try to satisfy everyone and let everyone getting out of our restaurant happy. You need flexibility and a lot of patience!

What is your first memory of food that blew your mind?
Soutzoukkos (almonds dipped in sweet grape jelly) at 9 years old during a vacation in Cyprus.
What is your favourite escape to relax?
What drives your ambition?
My ambition really changed over time, the ones that drove me where I am now are different from the ones I have for the years to come. Right now my main ambition is making my food available to a wider audience, focusing on the young generations.
What is your signature dish?
Raw fish platter with many different kind of seafood all seasoned with my beloved spices and oils.
How do you motivate your team?
Always listening to everybody and trying to check if everything is fine with them. Going out for a drink once a month, so we can talk about everything in a more relaxed way.
How do you think restaurants should be rated?
I believe restaurants should be rated for Hygiene and they should have a certification for both Origin and Quality of the food used for cooking and not for the way food is cooked because this is extremely personal and subjective.

If you had to build the best kitchen team who would be in your kitchen all stars?
Mauro Uliassi, Gunnar Jensen, Dan Barber and Nicola Fossaceca.