UK based Italian Chef Marcello Ghiretti published approximately 300 recipes
Marcello Ghiretti is a Personal Chef specialized in antiaging and functional cooking. Today he talks about his roots, Italian cuisine and his work with professional athletes.
Today you are a well-known Italian Chef, Instructor, Consultant… in the UK. When did this journey begin as a chef?
Everything started during my childhood, my grandparents from Parma in Italy grow me up same way as my father with wonderful traditional food freshly cooked and from scratch daily and on Sunday loads more specialty as we use to have few friends/neighbours came over and enjoy cooking all together.
Very soon I discovered my relationship with food as not only how much I was passionate to eat all those lovely meals I need it to participate to the hands on and start to learn my grandmother secrets recipes and tips.
Then around the age of 10/12 I finally I had a chance to go in to a real kitchen around 6 am wen not much staff was in and the restaurant wasn’t open to the public but the head chef was there, he was always upset with everyone a part then me maybe because he is the father of my best friend and allowed me to come around to shadow him. Simples tasks few days a week only till 8.30 am, like re order the walk in fridge or pick parsley leaf from stalk made me feel like a super hero.
Then after several arguments with my parents at 16 I have join an apprenticeship leaving school at second year of Italian engineering college.
Which cooking school did you visit?
I have started with a simple apprenticeship then after a short stage during my Christmas holidays in canton Zug (Swiss) I have been accepted at the Swiss Cantonal Catering School.
Then ALMA the Italian elite cookery school founded in 2005 by Gualtiero Marchesi the most famous Italian chef of all the time…I was awarded with a scholarship and I was one of his first 15 students at the time, my stage was at his restaurant Albereta 2 Michelin star at the time. My level 2 personal trainer diploma in 2007 followed by numerous master in supplements for sport performance and all sort of coaching courses to understand how training elite performance professional sport people.
I have started go deeper in to nutrition while studying under the umbrella of the chairman of AFFWA of Parma I was in charge of organise healthy catering events for them. Then In 2011 I have join Chiara Manzi for cucina Evolution, a project that change the way Italian most accredited chef including Gualtiero Marchesi and Massimo Bottura…another degree another diploma: Personal chef, Culinary nutrition chef.
2013 to 2016 I have focus on ancient Chinese medicine and learned Chinese acupuncture food treatment following Chinese yin/yang and healing herbs.
How would you describe your culinary line today?
My culinary line is full of tradition and research for the experience, texture and flavour mixed with nutrition.
Today you work as pasta development chef: what is the work behind it?
Develop product for large scale production and general public is an extended version of cooking at home, instead then open the fridge door and think about how to pair the ingredients and the technique to use i prefer to say i like to open a window on to a worldwide list of ingredients and choose.
there are several criteria that take me to choose a main or secondary ingredients. the majority of the dishes are coming from Italian traditional recipes and time to time revolutionised to make it more suitable to our customers preferences.
Organic, local, seasonal products are trends that have become reality in good restaurants. What are the next trends you see?
Following the lead of the high quality & organic grown food I think restaurant will try to look deeply at the nutrition part of the dish or of the meal…taste texture and benefit will became soon the 3 musketeer of the haute cuisine. This transition started at the same time cook started to cook and is a sort of fake transition. Because of the access to knowledge trough college and food science divulgation people will be more and more aware of what actually is being served to them as meal or what they buy and the ingredients..
“I decided to become a chef: not a hero.”
It is essential for me to know my suppliers, most of the time I visit the farm, the factory or the lab for ensure that quality and traceability are at highest standards. some of my suppliers are my friend and I do trust when is about introduce a new product as I am sure the way they work.
You are an Italian chef with a passion for cooking rustic and original food from your home, now in the UK. Much of the great Italian cuisine comes from the local ingredients. Hand on heart: How do you find these basics of success in Manchester?
I supply over 50 restaurant all over England, the nominee of poor food interest of the UK market is obsolete. Most of the time costumer talk to me about experience and food happened around the world and in Italy, I sincerely trust that I was lucky to grow up with foodie parents that inspired me and the success come to your door when you are ready to transfer your knowledge and give pure pleasure to your customers.
You have published about 300 recipes in the last 7 years. Where does your inspiration come from?
On a daily base I have been work on myself as athlete and dedicate loads of time to other professional athlete of many sports, in particular football. I think is good compare yourself and also discover what other chefs cook for be inspired but most important is walk around shops, farmer market, village market, foodies’ festival and be part of it. there is no mountain over here where to find good truffles but is so easy to slice some imported on top of a good Dover Sole….
Can you share some of your actual recipes with us?
You have worked with professional sports people with nutritional support. What is the key of good cooking in this particular segment?
Precision, cooking skills that includes technique and science mixed by common sense time to time.
Some of the international Italian restaurant chains are struggling. Is it hard to give such chain restaurants a soul?
Team building is very important for the staff to be ready on daily basis, yes chain struggle but because differently than us they say no! our customers can ask for anything they want and time to time we also help them to choose between things we don’t have on the menu but we offer to supply or have delivered asap (amazon or our special butlers suppliers) and be cooked or corked for them.
How do you come up with new recipes? What inspires you?
Love, nature, drive for happiness …the basic of life, I think positive and I dream to the point break….till I can resist and I have to cook it to perfection.
Hand on heart: Could you successfully compete with the true heroes of Italian cuisine – the Italian grandmothers?
I’ve grown up helping my granny prepare food every day, on regular base on Sunday all the local housewife friends with my granny us to come around and chat while all of them cooked something or made a part of a recipes from kneading bread to butch meat….I said before I was lucky and proper because of this example from my dearest Gran and friends I decided to become a chef: not a hero.
Any place in the world you would like to gain experiences/work as chef?
Thank you, Marcello Ghiretti!