Saturday, June 15

From Michelin-Star Level Dining to Nurturing Future Chefs: Discovering the Inspiration Behind Italian Chef Emanuele Gasperini’s Career


Emanuele Gasperini, an Italian chef with Michelin star level experience, has spent over a decade cooking on a professional level. Trained at the prestigious I.F.S.E. Italian Food Style Education academy, Gasperini’s career has been a tapestry of international ventures and a relentless pursuit of gastronomic excellence. From honing his craft at Dolce Stil Novo in Venaria, to shaping menus at Dal Milanese in Milan and Los Angeles, Gasperini’s culinary prowess knows no bounds. Now, as he lends his expertise to Luogo Divino in downtown Turin, offers guidance to budding chefs, and prepares for a new career move to California, Gasperini continues to captivate palates with his innovative flair and unwavering dedication to the art of cooking. Join us as we delve into the culinary universe of this versatile chef.

Q: How did you start your career in the kitchen and what prompted you to become a chef?

I started by working in a restaurant while still in school to earn some money. Then, as time went by, the passion that had so far only been at an amateur level began to grow, pushing me to leave university. That’s when I began to devote myself completely to the culinary world, by attending a top-level cooking school called IFSE (Italian Food Style Education). My culinary education allowed me to gain essential skills and enter the professional world in top-level, and even starred, restaurants.

Ever since childhood, cooking has always been fascinating to me. Whenever I could, I would get involved in preparing traditional Italian dishes alongside my grandmothers or my mother. Much of my passion and curiosity for food was passed on to me from them: from their expert hands, the way they cooked, and the flavours that are impossible to forget.

Q: What has been your most memorable experience working in restaurants so far?

Over the years I have worked in dozens of restaurants with hundreds of people and cooked thousands of dishes, getting to know people and culinary cultures from all over the world, from Vietnam to Mexico. In each workplace, I have had unforgettable experiences that remain etched within me and have helped enrich my cultural background and knowledge. If I was to choose the most memorable experience, it would undoubtedly be the restaurant “Dal Milanese” in Los Angeles.

My role in that restaurant allowed me to grow as a chef, but it was challenging for me to be so far away from home for the first time. There, I also found myself working in a setting where both the organizational structure and the measurement system were entirely different from what I had been accustomed to up to that point. The difficulties I encountered working abroad are what allowed me to evolve as a person and as a chef. I met all kinds of people, had unforgettable experiences, and had a new audience taste, and enjoy, my dishes.

Q: What are your main sources of culinary inspiration?

At the beginning of my career, I was mostly inspired by the Italian classics, the ones I had seen being prepared in my grandmas’ kitchens. Over time, my sources of inspiration changed. For example, when I was chef at the restaurant “SAIGON” I was taking inspiration from Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, when I was working at the restaurant “CANTEEN” I was inspired by Mexican and South American cuisine. Today, my cooking draws inspiration from all of my past experiences and is guided by the raw ingredients that are available to me.

Q: How would you describe your personal style in the kitchen and what elements distinguish it?

My dishes are characterized by thorough research for premium ingredients, sourced from artisanal producers who are renowned for their high-quality products. Another focus of my cooking is, without doubt, the seasonality of the products. Aside from improved taste, my use for seasonal products limits costs and helps me make the most of the raw ingredients.

While I love the traditional cooking techniques of the past, I often mix them with modern cooking techniques such as vacuum cooking.

Q: What are some of your favourite dishes to cook?

I have the most fun cooking meats and what, in Italian, we call secondi, meaning protein-based main courses. Since the start of my career, however, I have also always loved making all kinds of fresh pasta from scratch: ravioli, tagliatelle, pappardelle, and many more.

Q: What are your culinary specialties and how do you plan to adapt them to the new restaurant?

As I mentioned, my specialty are fresh pasta dishes. In my new position as chef for a Los Angeles restaurant specializing in Southern Italian cuisine, I aim to infuse each dish with my knowledge and personality, while preserving the bold and flavourful essence of Italian cuisine and not compromise its authenticity.

Q: What inspired you to visit the IFSE school and consider sharing your extensive culinary experience with new students?

After returning from America, I went to greet Director Raffaele Trovato and Professor Chef Riccardo Marello. Upon entering the IFSE school and speaking with the professor and the students, I felt the desire to share my culinary experience from these years and teach everything I have learned to the new students.

I have always loved teaching and, over the years, I have imparted a lot of culinary knowledge to the new cooks who joined my kitchens, revealing some secrets I had gathered over time. This passion for teaching was instilled in me at the beginning of my career by Professor Riccardo, and I do not hide the fact that one day I would like to conduct cooking classes alongside my work at the restaurant.

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