Executive Chef - USA
How long have you been employed at the Soho House Group?
I left the Neal Street Restaurant to become the head chef of Cecconi’s London when when Soho House took ownership. Then I worked as executive chef at Shoreditch House while also being head chef of Cecconi’s. I helped with Chiswick, Café Boheme, the Cannes Film Festival, the Oscars, and Miami Art Basel. Then I moved to the US and spent some time in New York. Now I am executive chef of all the US kitchens.
How many chefs in your brigade?
Where did you get most of your inspiration throughout your career?
I was inspired to become a chef by my mom, especially baking. I always loved the smell of cakes when coming back from school, or from playing football. All of my family members are into food – which isn’t unusual in Italy! If that isn’t enough, my uncle and his family have owned a trattoria for many generations. I spent so much time there I just had to become a professional!
What is your signature dish?
Rabbit pappardelle, Taggiasca olives, thyme and lemon zest.
What do you cook at home?
Anything my pregnant wife asks for! She’s craving everything Italian right now, thank God!
What is your favourite cookbook?
Antonio Carluccio Goes Wild. I helped him write it!
What are your favourite restaurants in the US?
Osteria Angelini in Los Angeles, Michael’s Food & Drink in Miami and Blue Ribbon Bakery in NY.
What are your strengths as a executive chef?
Believe it or not, people love working with me. I get along with most people, from dishwashers to chefs. I have a strong, proper passion, which is probably why I can get away with so many things. As a chef, I don’t have a big ego compared to other chefs.
What do you look for in your chefs?
Passion and discipline.
What’s one of the funniest things you’ve witnessed as a chef?
I was working with an Italian chef with language problems once and asked him to order a goat. When the butcher arrived, he had an entire frozen goat that was standing on all fours. When I walked into the kitchen, I didn’t know what to do, but it was so funny I couldn’t do anything but laugh!
What is your most memorable meal?
It was in Cyprus, on the Greek side, in a very little village. The chef was a fisherman as well as a hunter and his family grew vegetables, fruit and herbs. He sourced all the cheese and made all his own olive oil from scratch…At lunch he hung octopus under the sun. At night it was one of the most romantic places I have ever seen…all the tables were lit with candles set in a Mediterranean garden..olives trees, pergola, vine and herbs. All you could smell were the wood oven and charcoal grill. It was, without a doubt, the most beautiful restaurant in the world.