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Matteo Bergamini, SD26, Is Best Emerging Chef of Italian Cuisine in New York 2013

Matteo Bergamini, 31, chef or SD26 Restaurant, is the Best Emerging Chef of Italian Cuisine in New York 2013. Matteo has been awarded with this title during the launch of the 6th IDIC - International Day of Italian Cuisine at the International Culinary Center in Manhattan. The IDIC is by now a wonderful opportunity to celebrate culinary professionals all around the world, who have distinguished themselves for the promotion of authentic and quality Italian Cuisine. The announcement of the Best Emerging Chef of Italian Cuisine came after we asked the 20 chefs and Restaurateurs who last year were given the New York Italian Cuisine Awards and other senior professionals to make their nominations.

Matteo Bergamini was born among olive groves and vineyards in Toscolano on Lake Garda in Northern Italy. At the early age of 10, he began working alongside his father in their family butcher shop. Knowing he wanted to be in the restaurant industry, Matteo attended the Caterina De Medici Hotel School in Gardone Riviera where he continued to improve his skills and increase his knowledge about traditional Italian products and cuisine. After graduation, Matteo went to Bourg en Bresse, France where he worked in the restaurant La Reyssouze under chef Alain Detain, learning French technique and cuisine. Matteo then returned to Italy to work at the restaurant Miramonti L’altro where he would be introduced to Chef Odette Fada from San Domenico NY.

When he was 23 years old, Matteo arrived in the United States to work as a sous chef at San Domenico NY under the direction of Tony May. Two years later, Matteo returned to Italy to work as a personal chef to the Russian Minister of Economics along with culinary stints in Egypt and South Africa, continuing to hone his culinary skill and perfect his palate. In 2006, Matteo returned to New York City and resumed his work with San Domenico NY before taking a position at Daniel. During his time at Daniel, Matteo worked his way up through the ranks, earning the position of Chef de Tournant.

In 2009, Matteo joined Chef Odette Fada to open SD26, the reincarnation of San Domenico on Madison Square Park, as Chef de Cuisine. In May 2010, Matteo was named Executive Chef at SD26. Matteo brings his unique approach to modern Italian cuisine to the kitchen at SD26 and has become an integral part of the team that will usher in the next generation of San Domenico to New York City.


Mark Ladner is GVCI Chef of the Year

Mario Caramella, GVCI president has announced who is GVCI Chef of the Year and said: “As every year, we nominate one of us as Chef of the Year. In the past, we have awarded those who had endured serious life threatening situations. It´s always great to be able to nominate someone for better reasons and, for a change, this year we will award a non Italian chef who makes Italian Cuisine... he´s one of the Chefs that we, at GVCI call the Third Generation Italian Cuisine Chefs: MARK LADNER”.

At Del Posto, which he runs with partners Mario Batali, Jason Denton, and Joe and Lidia Bastianich, Mark cooks a sensible interpretation of regional Italian “Cucina Classica”, utilizing responsibly raised and locally grown products. Del Posto holds a 4-star rating from the New York Times, and one star from the prestigious Guide Michelin. He has been working with many influential chefs such as Todd English, Scott Bryan and Jean Georges Vongerichten and worked in various successful Italian restaurants (Babbo, Lupa, Otto).

Here an interview we had the opportunity to make with Mark Ladner:

Interview by Anthony Scillia

Q: Who are some of your Italian culinary inspirations?

A: I'm certainly most influenced by the spirits of both Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich, but also Cesare Casella and other great Italian chefs such as Gualtiero Marchesi, Massimiliano Aljamo and my recent favorite Pino Cuttaia. I'm also heavily influenced by Italian art and design, Michelangelo & Leonardo Da Vinci for example, and Italian service ware houses such as Richard Ginori, Alessi or Ruffoni. I also have some less obvious admiration for amazing Italian tastemakers such as the mid-century designer Gio Ponti (who designed for Richard Ginori for many years), the early 20th century futurist Filippo Tommaso Marinetti or the great international restaurateurs, the Cipriani family. As well as the fashionistas Emilio Pucci and Mui Mui Prada. Just to name a few...

Q: What drew you to Italian cuisine in the first place?

A: It chose me! The contrast of smooth cutting edge style and design with the warmth and conviviality of family and home inspired simplicity.

Q: Is there one traditional dish of Italian cuisine that was most "inspiring" for you and why?

A: Roman cacio e pepe exemplifies all that I admire about Italian sensibilities. Smooth and silky, firm and creamy texture, salty and piquant. Very few ingredients come together in equal balance. Simple is sophisticated.

Q: What is your concept of authenticity in terms of Italian cuisine and how important is it for the marketing of your restaurant?

A: To me, the most important aspect of Italian authenticity is primarily using fresh food, grown close to home that is prepared simply. In restaurant marketing, in Manhattan today, the diner is very knowledgeable and has lots of choices of where to spend their money and time. Diners have expectations that are not always easily met. Offering a recognizable meal that is also new and exciting while simultaneously offering flexibility for people to customize their experience based on their individual needs, wants and desires seems to be the most challenging thing for us to manage right now.


Itchefs-GVCI associate Franco Luise in charge of Opening the New Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem

Itchefs-GVCI associate Franco Luise has decided to leave his current position as Electrolux Professional Corporate Chef to Executive Chef in charge of Opening the New Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem. He´s getting ready for this new challenge that will be effective next March 2013. Congratulations!

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