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Yesterday’s Students, Tomorrow’s Stars: From Sous to Top

They’re young, talented and they have learnt their trade in some of the finest kitchens in Italy, where they have demonstrated astounding curiosity, passion and resourcefulness.

Today we’re talking about Federico Zanasi, head chef at the Snowflakes restaurant in Cervinia, and Marco Visciola, head chef at Marin Ristoro in Genoa. They’re just two of the five ex-sous-chefs who’ll be leading our Dinner Date From Sous To Top (September 25 at 8.30pm, Eataly Lingotto) where, together with the other three “ex-sous”, they’ll tell us about their journey from backstage assistant to star of the show. We spoke to the chefs that guided them on the way, to find out what set these prodigious chefs apart.

Moreno Cedroni, Michelin-starred chef of the Madonnina del Pescatore and the Anikò restaurants in Senigallia as well as the Clandestino in Portonovo (all in the province of Ancona, on the Adriatic coast in Central Italy) remembers meeting Federico Zanasi for the first time.

«It was 2006: he had sent me a very humble letter of introduction, telling me that he’d eaten at the Clandestino, defining it as the best place he’d ever eaten! I immediately noticed something in his style and I decided to contact him.” And so, in a completely casual manner, the Clandestino then became Federico’s second home for the next eight years. «At work, Federico was always a very shy and humble guy,” Moreno tells us. “He grew exponentially in those years. We toured a lot together, going to events and conferences. I was taken aback by the way his passion shined, almost arrogantly. In just a few years he took giant steps, often reaching for unexpected ingredients to enliven his plates and gambling with unusual pairings, but there was always a sense of equilibrium. He’s left me a great many good memories. Keep going, Federico!”

Enrico Panero, head chef at Eataly with experience across Italy and abroad, worked for three years with Marco Visciola, now head chef at the Marin in Genoa, an Eataly-run restaurant. They met by chance in 2011 during an Eataly event in Fontanafredda: “A Ligurian restaurant asked Marco to help them for the occasion. I was immediately struck by his interest in the kitchen. He often worked at local restaurants at the weekends but at that time his day job was driving ambulances for the Red Cross”.

Seeing the young Marco’s evident enthusiasm, Enrico took a chance, and offered him a job: “We were opening an Eataly in Genoa and we needed a team. We started everything from scratch, taking on young people with no experience in the sector. Among them, there was Marco. It was his first serious experience of working in the industry and he soon distinguished himself: very precise, very motivated, curious and willing. His passion was obvious. A short time later, we began our collaboration together, as Marco rose above the above the others to become my second-in-command. He understood the priorities at work, he took on responsibilities and was ready to take the reins in the restaurant without being asked. He became my right hand!”

If you’re as curious as we are to discover the secrets of these talented young chefs, come and meet them in person at From Sous To Top, and taste the plates that have made their fortunes in the flesh!

Gabriella Alessandra Bruzzone

An Event by
 Città di Torino
 Slow Food
 Regione Piemonte
In collaboration with
With the contribution of
Official Partners
Supporters of the Terra Madre Foundation and Slow Food
With the support of

Terra Madre Salone del Gusto
Slow Food Promozione P.Iva 02220020040
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