San Diego Chef
Past: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, The Marine Room, Solare Ristorante
Studied at: Sciacca, Sicily
What is the first recipe you ever baked?
Crepes with Nutella and marmalade. I was seven or eight at the time. I decided to make them for some friends. There was butter everywhere…eggs on the floor. It was a real mess!
What’s your go-to dessert?
Sicilian cannoli. It’s something I grew up with so it brings up childhood memories. As a chef, I like it because it’s a very simple recipe but hard to master the technique. My grandmother makes them the best. I can eat them every day.
What inspired you to become a chef?
Cooking is important because it’s sharing love and nourishment. For me, that’s the gesture of cooking—giving someone happiness. When you see a smiling customer, that’s the best achievement.
What advice would you offer to anyone looking to start a culinary career?
Take your ambition and put it to the side. Cooking is not about being a chef, it’s about learning. Be humble, and learn from everyone—the chef, your station mate, even the dishwasher. They know how to do their job and sometimes they have a great recipe.