Welcome to Great Italian Chefs

Welcome to Great Italian Chefs

by Ollie Lloyd 29 October 2015

Today marks a new chapter in our culinary journey around the world. From Great British Chefs we are now launching Great Italian Chefs, a website dedicated to celebrating the wonderful food culture, traditions and innovations of Italy's greatest chefs.

Ollie is the founder of Great British Chefs.

Ollie is the founder of Great British Chefs. He has been experimenting in the kitchen since he was five years old. Never known for shying away from a challenge, he has taken on some of the most obscure cuts of meat and ingredients that he can lay his hands on. As a marketeer, he's worked in the US, South and Southeast Asia, always taking the scenic route that might involve food trucks, hawkers and elusive soup dumplings.

Today is a huge, exciting day for our business as this morning, after months of hard work, we launch our second website – Great Italian Chefs.

Over the last seven months, we have travelled across Italy, from the canals of Venice to the beautiful island of Capri, talking to the country’s finest chefs in a bid to uncover their secrets and capture their recipes. To date, we’ve met thirty-one passionate and talented men and women who between them hold an incredible forty-five Michelin stars. This includes Francesco Sposito, Fabrizio Marino, Gaetano Trovato, Cristina Bowerman, Andrea Migliaccio, Salvatore Elefante, Daniele Usai, Andrea Sarri, Angelo Sabatelli, Enrico and Robert Cerea, Giancarlo Perbellini, Christian and Manuel Costardi, Rosanna Marziale, Marianna Vitale, Lorenzo Cogo, Emanuele Scarello, Alessandro Gavagna, Mauro Uliassi, Grazia Soncini, Andrea Berton, Roberto Petza, Teresa Buongiorno, Giorgio and Gian Pietro, Aurora Mazzucchelli, Marco Stabile, Gennaro Esposito, Igles Corelli, Norbert Niederkofler, Antonino Cannavacciuolo, Ernesto Iaccarino, Pino Cuttaia and Giuseppe di Iorio.

The food we discovered and tasted along the way has truly blown our minds. For too long Italian food has been misunderstood, leading to poor imitations and skewed views of its cuisine around the world. With Great Italian Chefs, we want to challenge people’s assumptions of what Italian food is all about, inspiring people to take a proper look at the recipes and dishes found throughout Italy. The Italians themselves are fiercely passionate about their culinary heritage, and with good reason – a large number of the world’s best dishes come from the cities, fields and shores of this deeply cultural, historic country.

Mention Italian food and the first thing most people think of are pizza, pasta and risotto, but the recipes we’ve collected might be a bit more modern and unusual than you’d expect. While there are a good number of recipes for pasta or risotto and plenty of dishes which focus on famous Italian ingredients like tomatoes and mozzarella, we’ve delved a little deeper into the country’s food scene to unearth some forgotten and some undiscovered gems. It’s a very exciting time for contemporary Italian cuisine – a new wave of produce-driven, seasonally-led chefs are heralding a new shift towards using specific ingredients in their cooking, and the world is taking notice. To see what we mean, take a look at Gaetano Trovato’s Leg and rack of Crete Senesi goat with artichokes, Francesco Sposito's Fettuccine which includes pistachios from the Sicilian town Bronte, or Alessandro Gavagna’s Zlikrofi from Idrija Valley, which includes his beloved Montasio cheese.

If you’re feeling ambitious, then you’ll want to head straight to the top where the two- or three-Michelin-starred chefs of Italy transform their beloved ingredients into artistic masterpieces. For example, the Cerea Brothers who have turned their family restaurant into a legendary three-starred destination, serve dishes such as ‘Fake mozzarella’ – which is actually a sweet mascarpone mousse with cherry sauce – and ‘The Mediterranean’, a perfect representation of all the flavours the area is known for.

We’re delighted to have the support of some of Italy’s finest food brands including Lavazza, Riso Gallo, Cirio and Parmigiano Reggiano. The country’s chefs are incredibly lucky to have access to these businesses and producers which refuse to compromise on quality and share the same passion for the very best food and drink. We were struck by how closely many Italian chefs work with these large, well-known brands; the respect they have for the products that these businesses make shines through in their enthusiasm.

This launch is the beginning of something we want to see expand and evolve over the next few years. We have big plans to bring some of the chefs we are working with to London in 2016, and we’re already delighted that Teresa Buongiorno is coming to the UK to cook her Pink gnocchi with a green core and ricotta cream at our annual NSPCC dinner on 2nd December. What you see today is just the beginning; we’re getting together with lots more chefs and dozens more of their recipes will be published by the end of the year. But for now, take a look through the site, feel inspired and discover some new dishes. We hope you’ll fall in love with Italy’s food as much as we have.