Daniele Usai has received the coveted Michelin star for his award winning restaurant, Il Tino in Rome and has a wealth of experience with some of the leading restaurants in Italy and the UK. He has worked with some of the most successful restaurant entrepreneurs in the world including Antonio Carluccio in Covent Garden.
All of this experience has helped Daniele to offer his own unique style of Italian cuisine with a heavy emphasis on an exotic blend of fresh ingredients and spices.
Love Italian Life recently had the opportunity to interview Daniele:
What exactly inspired you to be passionate about food and become a chef?
In the very beginning of my career, I was inspired by my mother and my grandmother, both of whom are great cooks. Then as my career progressed I took inspiration from everything that surrounded me such as colleagues in the kitchen, a local marketplace, seasons etc.
What do you think is the secret of your success?
I would have to say it comes down to pure Passion and Consistency within my profession.
Why is food so important in Italy?
Because Food in Italy is part of an ingrained culture that has a proud history of thousands and thousands of years of tradition.
Do you think we have lost touch with the ‘dining table’ as it were, preferring instead to eat meals on the go or in front of the television?
In Italy this simply does not happen – in fact dinner and mealtimes in general are still considered a ritual of of sharing time with your family and being intimate.
What are the store-cupboard essentials that all great Italian chefs should make sure they have in their kitchen?
One thing that should never be lacking in any kitchen of a great Chef is extra virgin olive Oil – God help you if you don’t have this!
In your opinion what are the links between the different regions in Italy and their unique styles of cooking?
I believe that their is a clear connection for regions to use seasonal as well as local ingredients, with most food preparation being homemade. These are the common traits within every major city in Italy.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of coming into the industry as a chef interested in Italian Cuisine?
I would advise he or she to be totally sure that they have the motivation and drive to succeed as a chef, because the best job in the world is also the hardest job in the world.
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