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 Gennaro Esposito

Gennaro Esposito

After this solid grounding in both French and Italian cuisine, his love for the latter – and for his homeland – won out, drawing him back to Vico Equense in 1992, where he opened his own restaurant Torre de Saracino with his wife Vittoria. This decision was an outstanding achievement for a chef as young as Gennaro, who at this point was just twenty-two years old.

Torre del Saracino makes fantastic use of the surroundings in the coastal town. Positioned on the beach in an old medieval fort, the restaurant has stunning views out to sea and retains part of the quiet nature and charm of the region, despite its proximity to the holiday hotspots of Sorrento, Amalfi and Positano. Spending time building up the restaurant’s reputation and unique style, Gennaro’s dedication was rewarded in 2001 with a first Michelin star followed by a second star in 2008. The restaurant has also held three Gambero Rosso forks since 2003, and was awarded the accolade of best Campania restaurant in 2006.

Credited as a fundamental force within the avant-garde movement of Italian cuisine, Gennaro’s food still remains true to his roots, evoking both simplicity of ingredients and traditional styles and recipes. His take on ‘haute cuisine’ is based around the use of quality raw materials, implying an exclusive depth and knowledge that comes with the skilful use of wonderful produce. Lemons are one of his favourite ingredients, a fruit which exemplifies the numerous possibilities within cooking that he loves.

His style and flair, alongside his passion for his native region, can be seen in such dishes as his Spaghetti with anchovy sauce, walnut pesto and fried scabbardfish from Sorrento, as well as seasonal plates of ravioli chicken cacciatore with black cabbage and mushrooms. The success and longevity of the restaurant is a testament to the chef’s skill, with Torre del Saracino itself – alongside his food – paying homage to the chef’s hometown, roots and values.

Three things you should know

Gennaro's wife Vittoria is a pastry chef at the restaurant, and also works front of house.

Despite the two Michelin stars Gennaro has gained over the years, he still describes his cooking as straightforward and simple, and his only rule is to cook for others as you would want them to cook for you.

Gennaro is incredibly grateful to organisations such as Michelin as his restaurant is quite tucked away. He believes they are the reason his restaurant is always busy.