When did you realise you wanted to work in hospitality?
It's a cliché as every Italian says this but I grew up watching my Sicilian mum and grandmother cooking in the kitchen. The passion they had for it pulled me into cooking. When I went to catering school my teacher/mentor did the rest to convince me.
Where are how did you get your start?
I studied catering/kitchen at IPSAR Costa Smeralda and graduated in 2000 - I was there for five years. After school my first job was at Santini in Milan where I joined as a Chef de Partie.
Sum up your current work life in one sentence.
Who has been really influential on your career and why?
Franco Alba, my first teacher and chef. He introduced me to a world that was very new and unknown to me at the time. I will be forever thankful for everything he taught me.
What's next for you?
Developing the menu at Mortimer House and the Maslow's brand expansion.
What's your one piece of advice to someone starting out?
Humility. It is the most important part of the job, learn how to cook from scratch and then you develop your style. These days it is very easy for a young person to lose the journey because we are intoxicated by social media and the problems it causes. I believe in training and rules and I think the younger generation are so exposed to social media and instant gratification, which gives the wrong impact to this job at a very early age. I love this and am a part of it but it's important to stay humble and gain as much experience as possible.
Where did you last have a great meal?
Brat on Redchurch street.
Are there any openings you are looking forward to?
Where is the most exciting city for hospitality?
Who would you identify as a rising star?
Davide Alberti, my sous-chef. He's definitely someone to watch out for.