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Taverna Estia

Taverna Estia

The Chef

Francesco Sposito

Francesco Sposito was born in Naples, where good food was woven into the fabric of life: ‘The smell of tomato sauce in the hall of the buildings, the smell of the embers on the balconies that were used to roast the artichokes…’ His father Armando, formerly a teacher, had left the academic world behind to follow his passion for cooking, purchasing Taverna Estia in the town of Brusciano, near Mount Vesuvius. Francesco was in his teens when he first entered his father’s kitchen. He told us: ‘This job wasn't in my plans, it wasn't what I wanted to do when I was little. I started doing it to spend time with my family. If we wanted to spend some time together we had to come here to the restaurant. But when I realised what it was about, I completely fell in love with it.’

He studied classics, but after completing his studies turned his attention fully to cooking. His desire to grow as a chef, to keep learning, took him abroad. First came Paris, at Arpège with Alain Passard, which held three Michelin stars. Here he was schooled in modernist cooking technique and like Passard, developed an appreciation for the enormous variety of spices and seasonings the world has to offer. In 2002 he moved on to work with Igles Corelli, long-time head chef of the legendary two-star Trigabolo restaurant. Working together on Corelli’s new venture, Locanda della Tamerice, in the wetland nature reserve of Ostellato in northeast Italy, in this great chef he found a second father, crediting him with unlocking his talent and passion for cookery.