Spice jars and wooden spoons were my playthings when I was a child. I amused myself in my Grandma’s kitchen whilst waiting for my mother who helped her in our Trattoria.
I also have fond memories of summers at the “Festa dell’Unità” held in our town, where I spent the whole day with the older housewives, preparing fresh pasta and frog sauce. At the age of 14 I started attending the hotel and catering college. My first great Maestro, Alfredo Silighini, realized that I could become a good "sporca padelle" and gave me the opportunity to be part of the staff of one of the pillars of the Italian cuisine: the Restaurant ”San Domenico” in Imola.
There I met the person who made me fall in love with this job, Valentino Marcattilii, who in his team then boasted the likes of Giancarlo Perbellini, Paul Bartolotta, Pascal Piermattei, Renato Rizzardi, Leonardo Mantovani, Franco Lazzari and many others who will forgive me if I do not mention them, but whom are still my good friends (and excellent Chefs) today.
Then at the age of 17 the opening of the San Domenico in New York with Paul Bartolotta and Lorenzo Boni, a great professionalist . Then followed the Cipriani in New York, a number of Michelin star Italian restaurants and a fantastic working experience, which lasted eleven years, in Barilla where my life changed.
As Academia Barilla’s Executive Chef I learned managerial concepts thanks to the patience of Gianluigi Zenti and Enrico Scattolini. In the eleven years I spent there I had the pleasure and honor of serving banquets and dinners around the world, representing the Italian cuisine for one of the most respected companies in Europe, which still has a place in my heart today.
I believe that good food is a combination of love and passion, the wise use of new technologies combined with raw materials of the highest quality.
But real cuisine must be used to delight the guests, and to give pleasure to the taste buds and not to make the headlines.
I remember the saying of a great entrepreneur, which I find quite fitting: "Ducks lay eggs discreetly, on the other hand a chicken makes noise so the whole estate can hear. What is the result? The whole world eats chicken eggs, just few use duck eggs.“ /Henry Ford
In this pleasant ride down memory lane I have remembered the people who have been part of my past, to thank them for what they have transmitted to me. I also believe that today it is very hard to recognize that we are not born learned, but in most cases we learn thanks to the patience of others, and I think that a little bit more of humility and modesty in recognizing this could benefit everyone.
Finally, to those who have the good fortune to be able to teach or pass on something, I would like to quote the words of a great man: " Give a bowl of rice to a man and you will feed him for a day. Teach him how to grow his own rice and you will save his life.” " (Confucius)