The chef tells his story, highlighting his origins and the experiences that have marked him.
“In order to explain who I am today, I cannot refrain from recounting all the experiences I’ve lived through up to this moment. They are important chapters of my story, pages full of places, people, events, which only if read together are able to return the faithful account of the passion of a life.
Everything starts from a road, a path already traced out in front of me: it was my father, who has always been active in the world of catering, who opened Da Tonino restaurant. I have lived among the stoves since I was a child, and for me there could be nothing more natural than to follow in his footsteps. It was in Capri that my training began; once I finished school, however, I immediately decided to leave, to drop anchor towards new horizons, aware that only by tracing my own personal path could I really find my way.
First there was Rome; it was the 2000’s, a golden age for the city. The Hotel de Russie welcomed me, a 5-star luxury hotel located in “Piazza del Popolo”, one of the most popular hotels in the capital. I stayed there for almost 4 years; it was an experience that marked me, as much for the splendid city as for the prestigious workplace, full of stimuli, which combined high quality with great numbers. Even today, I still believe that the experience in a hotel is highly formative for those working in the sector, as it allows you to get involved in several areas, from breakfast to “cold meals” and much more.
Leaving Rome, after a brief return to Capri, it was the turn of the USA, where I stayed for a few months; then the definitive return to Italy, at San Domenico in Imola, a 2 Michelin star restaurant, a 100% Italian historic establishment. I believe that, to date, this last one has been the most formative experience I have had: for more than three years it has been my second home, I have learned to cook truly everything, and I still have a very good relationship with chef Valentino Marcattilii, who has been like a mentor for me; we talk often, and there are always occasions to attest to our friendship and mutual esteem.
San Domenico has given me the opportunity to actively participate in many events, even outside the restaurant, to collaborate with important chefs such as Massimo Bottura or Gianfranco Vissani, and to participate in charity events. Like the annual event organized in favor of the community of San Patrignano, to which I was lucky enough to participate for a couple of years. For me it was primarily an opportunity to confront a reality that only apparently may seem very distant from us, but in which it is easy to identify with and feel empathy for young people, people who in the face of their difficulties roll up their sleeves, intent on winning a better future. They were certainly touching moments, and I’m sure I’ll keep them in my heart forever.
Now I’m convinced that every place, every person, every situation has served to teach me something: from technique to organization, from the choice of ingredients to research, the seasonality of products, up to the contact with suppliers, with companies, with those who work the land. All of these experiences have left something inside me, and have contributed to making me who I am today”.