Simone Zanoni is a (relatively) new face of Italian cuisine. Originally from Salò, a town on Lake Garda, he is an award-winning chef and a social media celebrity.
After graduating high school, Simone decided to move to London, beginning a journey that, in 20 years, would transform him into «the only Italian chef in France with two stars pinned on his jacket», as food journalist Nicolò Vecchia defined him.
When he arrived in London, Simone Zanoni found a job at Gordon Ramsay‘s restaurant «L’Aubergine». He started working as a dishwasher and gradually moved up the chain, becoming Commis and later Sous Chef. He also won the trust of Ramsay, who decided to entrust him with roles of responsibility.
First, he worked as a Chef in Ramsay’s flagship restaurant, the three-starred Gordon Ramsay Restaurant, from 2004 to 2007. The following year, Simone Zanoni became Executive Chef at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Versailles, where, in 2009, he won his first two Michelin stars.
His third Michelin star arrived in 2017, at Le George, the restaurant of the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris. Here «Zanoni offers a cuisine rich in Italian influences, from the iconic Tarte Tatin of onions with Parmesan sorbet to apricots with amaretto cream to tomato soup with burrata,» writes food journalist Alessandra Medolesi on ReporterGourmet.
That of Simone Zanoni is an impressive journey. He recently added new chapters to it, launching the project Casa Zanoni and becoming a celebrity on social media.
Forbes magazine recently interviewed him. We included here some of Simone’s answers (you can read the full interview here).
You are from Salò, a town in Northern Italy. Do you feel connected to your origins?
I will always be bound to that place. I grew up there. When I was little, I spent time on my grandmother’s farm. This has always been a great source of inspiration because there I learned to use fresh and healthy products. My father pushed me to become a chef because he had seen my passion for cooking. After graduating from high school, I decided to move to London to learn English and start to build my career.
You worked with Gordon Ramsay in London. He chose you when you were only 21…
Gordon helped me see my potential and not be afraid of taking new paths. I have worked in many luxury restaurants such as Trianon Palace Versailles, two Michelin stars; Gordon Ramsay, London, three Michelin stars; Amarylis in London, one Michelin star; Petrus, in London, two Michelin stars; Claridge’s, in London, a Michelin star; Aubergine, in London, a Michelin star. I have won awards such as the “Best Italian Chef Working Abroad” from the BMW Italia Guide and the Acorn Award. I got my first Michelin star at the Le George restaurant in Paris in 2017.
What do you like most about gastronomy? And how do you think your cuisine stands out?
For me, cooking is something to be done with the heart. Gastronomy is a journey of flavors, discovery, and pleasure. I try to differentiate myself by focusing on authentic flavors, a cuisine that creates memories and suscitates feelings. If food leaves you indifferent, it means that it has no character. Also, I focus on creating healthy recipes.
At the same time, my cuisine is based on sustainable and ethical principles. I teach people how to eat less meat. Behind a nice steak, there is the life of an animal. I recommend eating meat once every ten days or even every two weeks.
Read the full interview on Forbes.it!