PASTRY CHEF ANDREA TORTORA – THE BEST PASTRY CHEF IN ITALY 2019 BY L’ESPRESSO
The pastry is possible, the tastiest and the most appreciated part by diners in a restaurant, and one of the most delicate and difficult to create, since it needs many techniques, creativity, and endless studies. This wasn’t an impediment for Andrea Tortora, to stand out and be considered the best pastry chef in Italy in 2017 by the Identità Golosa and Gambero Rosso guides, and again in 2019 by the L’Espresso guide.
Coming from a large family of pastry chefs from which he is the fourth generation, it was indisputable not to become influenced by this beautiful profession. He has traveled almost all over the world, which allowed him to create his pastry style. Also, he had the opportunity to be part of some great restaurants, where the last one was a three stars restaurant St. Hubertus of the Rosa Alpina Hotel, which he left last year to pursue a new project.
Having been born into a family of pastry chefs, I think that was a big influence to continue the tradition. Have you ever thought about doing another profession, or were you always sure of your decision?
In addition to everything you learned with your family, did you go to the pastry school?
“I studied in the hospitality institute, and them the most valuable school of all was the world of work and internship.”
I know that you had the opportunity to work abroad. Which were these destinations, and how it contributed to creating your pastry style?
“I traveled almost all over the world. I lived in many countries for more than a year, surely the cultures, the ingredients, and traditions led me to defined a very personal work style.”
What did it mean for you to be part of the team of the prestigious three Michelin stars restaurant St. Hubertus?
“First of all, I arrived at St. Hubertus when it had two Michelin stars, and I left after two years from the achievement of the third, as a pastry chef for many years at the structure, it was certainly a great satisfaction to be part of the team that took the restaurant to the highest level.”
Why did you leave St. Hubertus restaurant?
“It was time to change.”
You are considered the king of pastry in Italy, a title that critics and people have given you. What do you think was the most important thing in your work to deserve this popularity?
“King? Really? Well, surely the substance, the concreteness, and the constancy have brought credibility to my professional figure.”
Tell me a special dessert for you, and why it is?
“Each dessert is special because it evokes moments and memories. Without a doubt, Panettone is the one I like the most. Since I was a child I saw my grandfather’s able and experts hands preparing it, and levitation has always fascinated me.”
What do you think is the greatest satisfaction in your career?
“For a restaurant pastry chef, surely achieving the third star in a team is the greatest result, only 110 pastry chefs have achieved it worldwide, this was my new starting point. I left the routine for new projects.”
What was your biggest challenge as a pastry chef?
“Every day is a completely different challenge. I always set new goals and try to rich them.”
What inspired you to create a new dessert?
“I’m inspired by everything around me, the environment, the people, the ingredients…”
Thank you very much, Andrea!
By Yareli Parra