Travel & Gourmet

Ciao, ragazzi: 5 Italian chefs shaping the future

Despite the turbulent times in the world and, especially, in Fine Dining, the young generation of chefs keeps on not only cooking but also bringing the new ideas into the industry.
Reading time 6 minutes
Photo Credit: Gabriele Stabile

Creative, modern, sometimes revolutionary, without any doubts - tasty, the ideas and visions of these 5 Italian chefs will definitely influence the whole Gourmet world and change it for the better

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Photo Credit: Michele Petrini

Michelangelo Mammoliti (La Madernassa, Guarene)

Young chef already awarded with prestigious 2 Michelin stars has gained his experience mostly in France, with such maitres as Alain Ducasse, Pierre Gagnaire, Yannick Alléno and Marc Meneau. Strict, self-confident, demanding, with a subtle sense of beauty, Mammoliti since 2014, in the heart of the Piedmont region, at La Madernassa resort, creates a cuisine that pays tribute to Italy and France in the same time, uniting the best of both of the countries in his plates.

The cuisine and the figure of Michelangelo itself are emblematic and can easily be called a new model of Italian Fine Dining which many chefs are looking at and want to resemble.

“Il mio buongiorno si vede dal giardino” (My goodmorning is seen from the garden) - this is how Michelangelo greets his followers and friends on social media and it’s not a joke. In his own garden in the territory of La Madernassa chef cultivates the majority of the vegetables, greens and herbs he uses in the cuisine, setting like this the “ecological” example for the younger chefs.

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Photo Credit: Petit Royal

Paolo Griffa (Petit Royal, Courmayeur)

Paolo Griffa, chef of Petit Royal restaurant in Courmayeur, gained his first Michelin star in 2019 and could be called a person whose character has determined his faith. He is talented, aware of his own ability, technically very well prepared, ambitious and competitive, even towards himself and the obstacles that inevitably meet in a tumultuous but evident growth process, such as his.

Combal Zero, Chateaubriand, Studio, Piccolo Lago… these were the names which “formed” his professional portfolio, and allowed Paolo to win for Italy the most valuable in the gourmet world award of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015.

His cuisine never forgets Italy, but wants to “travel” and “discover” the world around. Recognized not only as a chef but also as a pastry one, Griffa tries to create stimulating and technically perfect but not exasperated variations of the great Italian cuisine, trying to convey its intrinsic values and being careful to deviate from the stereotypes and clichés widespread abroad.

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Photo Credit: Gabriele Stabile

Antonio Ziantoni (Zia, Rome)

This chef from “La Città Eterna” and also owner of his restaurant “Zia” has recently been called “A young chef of the year” by Michelin guide. Despite being young, he speaks and acts with knowledge and wisdom, measures well all what he does and says, adding a great sense to his cuisine, which values all his work.

Ziantoni worked quite everywhere in the world: from France to China, but at the end of it all got back to Rome, his home, in order to open his own restaurant. Also here he met his main maitre, mostly impacted his work - Anthony Genovese, from Il Pagliaccio restaurant.

Coming to “Zia” is a kind of experiencing the new, vivid, young and ambitious Italy, prived of useless and odd cliches - the restaurant itself depicts the desire of “Bel Paese” to evolve and enter into the new era of Fine Dining, of new, fresh ideas guided by a new generation. No more sad and touristic food, “Zia” is offering a new vision on Italian food heritage. Cuisine of Ziantoni is a breath of fresh air which serves the client dynamic, full of surprises plates with strong Italian identity.

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Photo Credit: daGorini

Gianluca Gorini (daGorini, San Piero In Bagno)

Another phenomenon in the Italian cuisine is definitely Gianluca Gorini and his restaurant in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna. As a chef, he unites in himself all three characteristics that lead to important goals in the gourmet world: coming from a family of restaurateurs, having had great masters and above all having clear ideas on how to conduct one's career.
Like this, all this led him to start his career as a chef and as a consequence - achieve great goals in his professional life, as the first Michelin star assigned for him in 2019.

His cuisine? This is how he describes it himself: “«I start from the memories of the past and blend them with the innovations I have experienced. I want to cook in the truest possible way, I want to convey myself with transparency and sincerity, even in the way I treat the raw material. Experience, will, preparation and lucky coincidences. I think this is the summary of my professional life and also - style of cooking».


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Photo Credit: Ristorante Sum

Davide Guidara (Sum, Catania)

Often called as “Cuoco del futuro” - “Chef of the future”, sicilian Davide Guidara is only 26 years old but already proved that the future of the Italian cuisine is in his hands.

Nino Di Costanzo, Alfonso Iaccarino, Michel Bras and René Redzepi were his mentors and people mostly affected his work, from whom Guidara learned the basics of the cuisine in order to after rethink them in his own way - creative, minimal but explosive.

«First of all I feed taste, flavors. The restaurant where I work is called Sum - "I am" in Latin - but the protagonist must not be my ego, but the product. Which is manipulated, of course: but with individual focus, each dish has a protagonist who undergoes various processes and remains at the center of the scene.We try to push it to very high levels of umami, acidity, flavor.
I want to get goosebumps, I want explosions in the mouth. It is the same experience that I want the customer to have. It doesn't have to be a stylistic exercise to show how good I am, but a fun journey for the diner».


The author Aline Borghese is an international journalist and critic of haute cuisine.

She is a graduate of the culinary schools of the Ritz Escoffier, Ecole de cuisine Alain Ducasse, La Cucina Italiana. Champagne and wine sommelier, cocktail enthusiast, gastronomic consultant and simply Bohémienne Affamée.


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