union-street-cafe-610When did you first realise you had a passion for cooking?

I was very young. I would say about 8 years old and my mum used to take me with her when she went to cooking lessons. At first I just watched with curiosity, and eventually they started giving me little tasks to do like beating eggs. I would say this is the first memory I have of being in the kitchen and the start of my passion for cooking.

Where did you train?

Straight after school I left Italy for Spain where I worked in a 5 star hotel in Majorca and Tenerife. After that I went to Nice in France for a short period of time and then I moved back to Italy where I stayed at Cipriani Venice for over a year before moving to London.


What has been your biggest professional achievement to date?

I will always cherish the memory of a big dinner we cooked for President Obama at the Kremlin whilst I was working in Moscow. It was an incredible experience. I am also very proud to have been part of the brigade that achieved the Michelin star at Ristorante Semplice just 6 months after it opened.

How would you describe your style of cooking?

Simple traditional Italian cooking with a modern twist.

What is your signature dish?

Burrata, coffee and semi-dried Datterini tomato ravioli with fresh oregano.

Is there a secret for a successful restaurant?

There are three:

·      A great setting to create a warm and inviting atmosphere
·      Hard working and humble staff
·      Passion and dedication

Is there another chef that you most admire?

Massimo Bottura for the way he represents the traditional Italian, our culture and our food across the world.

Which restaurant do you most enjoy eating at on your night off?

I live in North London, not too far from Islington and East London where there is a great variety of different restaurants. I like simple and unfussy food, from a burger at Byron to some fresh oysters at Bonnie Grill seafood bar in Exmouth Mountain to a Thai at the ever popular Busaba Eathai chain.

Can you share a recipe with our readers to try at home?

Risotto Italian Veal sausage, Taleggio & Frangelico
Serves: 4 people

Risotto Italian Veal sausage, Taleggio & FrangelicoIngredients:
280gr Riso Gran Riserva Carnaroli
250 gr  Italian veal Sausage
50gr butter
1 Shallots
60gr Parmigiano reggiano 24th month aged
100ml EVOO
180 Gr Taleggio
50 ml Frangelico
1 Lt Vegetables StockFlat Parsley
2 gr Thyme

Prepare a nice and light vegetables stock
Cut in small cubes the Taleggio
Chop the Shallots very thin


In a heavy based saucepan melt the butter and add the shallots, soften over a low heat without colouring. Add the sausage and roast it until nicely coloured.
Add the rice, with a pinch of salt, and stir continuously until the rice is nicely toasted but not coloured.
Next add the white wine and stir until evaporated. Cover the rice with the vegetable stock and a pinch of salt. Continue to cook the rice over a medium heat stirring constantly adding vegetable stock until the rice is cooked al dente, about 15 min.
To finish the risotto beat in the taleggio and add to the rice parmesan, the remaining butter, thyme, parsley and a shot of Frangelico.
Season it to taste.

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