Possessing an ardent passion for cooking, Alessandro has earned a HACCP certification, and is a graduated sommelier registered under the Worldwide Sommelier Association.
As a child, he used to watch on as his grandmother and mother prepare meals in the kitchen. After graduating with a degree in law, he went on to become a practitioner for a short period of time. He soon came to the realisation that this was not where his passion lies, and decided to make a career switch to pursue his love for cooking.
1. What do you like most about being a BonAppetour host?
Being a host at BonAppetour helped me in managing my home restaurant. Before meeting Rinita and her team, I tried to become a host through my own means and spreading the word through social media. I encountered many difficulties and met with few positive results. I tried other home restaurant platforms, but they proved to be unprofessional.
The turning point came when I joined BonAppetour. Their advertising channels and social media marketing strategies helped to garner more attention for my home restaurant, and I received more bookings for dining experiences. My collaboration with BonAppetour has provided me with many opportunities to meet people from diverse cultures. What I find extremely rewarding is getting to know what authentic Roman and Italian cuisine means to other people.
2. Where do the locals go to eat in your city?
There are many places to dine at in Rome. The problem is that many of them are tourist traps, often selling food of poor quality at high prices. I recommend that travellers approach the Romans, and ask them where they go to eat at. Of course, now that there are home restaurants, this serves as the best answer to the needs of travellers, for they can enjoy authentic and traditional dishes prepared with top quality ingredients.
3. What are some places that locals like to hang out at?
For shopping, we head to Via Cola di Rienzo and its surrounding streets, where prices are affordable and there are plenty of shops to visit. For dining, we usually go to Trastevere or Testaccio. These are two ancient neighbourhoods of Rome filled with restaurants and pubs, and are now popular with tourists.
The locals head to public neighbourhood markets to shop for fresh food. There are many of these in Rome, with the market of Piazza Vittorio, as well as the recently renovated Trionfale Market being famous spots. The public parks are perfect for taking a relaxing stroll or for an invigorating run. I would recommend Villa Doria Pamphili, Villa Borghese and Villa Ada, for these are the most beautiful parks. Those who wish to go to the beach can take a thirty minutes journey to Ostia or Fregene. The sea water at these coasts are not very clean, but there are many bars and discos along the beach.
4. Did you always have a passion for food and cooking? Tell us more about your experiences and background with cooking.
I developed a passion for cooking from a young age. This passion was transmitted from my grandmother, Iolanda, and my mother, Maria Pia. Curious about the ongoings in the kitchen, I began to experiement with culinary pursuits as as child with my grandmother, discovering more about homemade pasta, gnocchi and Roman cuisine. From my mother, I learnt about the traditional cuisine of Abruzzi, and developed the desire to create new recipes. Even back then, it was clear that I had a passion for cooking. However, for some time, this passion was accompanied by a strong interest in academic pursuits.
After graduating with a degree in law, I carried on as a practitioner. However, I could not deny my passion for cooking, and decided to take up a diploma by the Chef of Hotel, and continued on to work as a chef in a famous international hotel chain. I have attained the HACCP certificate, and am a sommelier with the Worldwide Sommelier Association.
For me, cooking is always a pleasure. It is relaxing and rewarding. I am always happy when guests taste the dishes, especially when the items are my creations. In fact, I love experimenting and creating new recipes. Sometimes, I start with a traditional dish and add a modern twist, while at other times I design a new dish from scratch.
5. Which are the dishes that you love cooking the most?
I love cooking traditional Italian dishes, especially first courses, homemade pasta, as well as meat and fish mains. Most of the time, I cook dishes originating from Rome, Tuscany and Abruzzo, as well as typical Roman pasta dishes such as carbonara, gricia, amatriciana and cacio e pepe. I also enjoy making changes to traditional recipes, and experimenting with dishes to cater to special food requests made by vegetarians, vegans or individuals with food intolerances and allergies.
Find out more about dining with host Alessandro here.
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