Interview to Stefano Paciotti: from delicatessen to reality show

This week Ristomanager it’s proud to announce you the interview of a special guest. So special in particular for people who follows the reality show “La Prova del cuoco”. We are talking about Stefano Paciotti, one of the best delicatessen owner in Italy. He will tell us about his origins and his family from Scheggia. His town in Umbria is poor and humble but it offered a great opportunity for Paciotti family. Talking about its delicatessen, it was first built in Roma where the young Stefano grew improving his grocer skills and the ability to do business with people. As both an artisan and a showman, Stefano today moves from his work bench to places where he organizes workshop where he infuse his passion and professional skills to students. In one of his seminaries he was noticed by some people who wanted him to get on stage of “Prova del cuoco”. His targets is far from achieved, his dream is to found a delicatessen academy, a place where tradition of cured meats is preserved in order to give prestige to Italian food.

Good morning, Stefano. We know that your family comes from Umbria, precisely from Scheggia (Gubbio): what made you move from Umbria to Lazio, in Rome? And what brought you to the world of cured meats?

My father’s family, same as all the families of the past days, was numerous so, because of this problem it was difficult to live a wealthy life, his last two sons (of 6) were literally sent to Rome where they would have helped their uncle in order to carry on his little shop.

With some differences same things happened to me, because my father become owner of an activity that required my help whenever I didn’t attend school. In that period my passion for building relationship with the customers was growing , and consequentially the passion for the products that we sold was growing too, in particular for those who needs attention such as cured meats and cheeses.

What are your greatest professionals satisfactions? Instead what were the rainiest day for Salmeria Paciotti?

Among the greatest satisfactions there are the personal one: I managed to achieve a certain level of knowledge and proficiency that quench each day my hunger for the research and selection of products that i sell to my customers. Professionally talking, the greatest satisfaction is to be able to transmit my experiences to young people that becomes more and more interested in this subject. Moreover i think that I still have a lot of things to do. In the past, Rainy days have come. It was the period of Italian financial crisis but the endless research of quality foods helped us to get away from that periods.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a “norcino” Master today?

Among the advantages we have absolutely to consider the awareness of being able to follow your passion, the ability to discern good raw materials from bad one and more important, being able of live tanks to this passion. The disadvantages are countless. Just to mention some: timetable, physical work, responsibility, few time to spend with family, etc… But i have to say, it’s worth it!

How you reach “Prova del Cuoco” starting from a delicatessen?

In general I reach TV thanks to the lessons about food excellences i was used to grant in Hotel Cavalieri Hilton in Rome, by which I’ve been noticed from people who worked in that sector. More deeply, i reach “Prova del Cuoco” thanks to my brotherly friend Gabriele Bonci, with whom I worked for several years. The professionalism and the lack of shyness did the rest.

As “television” chef what are your thoughts about Masterchef? And in particular about cooking reality shows?

I think that all this television formats that deal with the cooking world should be watched and understood. Cuisine and the world of food in general are personal subjects that everyone interpret in his own way, the important thing is that those who spread their knowledge and ideas are experts. The rest is all about show, you should take it as a suggestion not as a rule.

What would you say to a young person that dreams about jumping into the world of cured meats?

I deeply suggests to jump into it with the desire of following your own passion, with the humility of learning new things, and more important with the curiosity for knowledge. This is a world full of sacrifices but it can give you great satisfactions. Moreover, you should have the desire for the research of high quality raw materials, for yourself and for future generations. If you have this attitude you have not to worry, things comes of by themselves.

Have you got plans for the future(both professional or personal)?

One of my most ambitious plan for the future is creating a delicatessen academy, where it’s possible to develop the experts of the future. My big dream is to have the possibility of getting in touch with young students in their school in order to guide them step by step throw working life because I think that today young people are really good. Last but not least i would like to say that even if you weren’t born delicatessen owner you can become one!

Interview with Fabrizia Ventura, chef designer in the balance between cuisine and art

We continue our interviews, for readers of ristomanager, to present excellence of the  Italian restaurants and after interviewing the pizza chefs Marco Stango and Roberto Gallo, today it’s up to Fabrizia Ventura, a chef who has built his professional affirmation following basic principles of  the relationship between cuisine and art and curiosity towards new flavors and new tastes.

His career path is not taken for granted, in fact the cooking skills are combined with a degree in Art History and the experience gained in the world of communication. Worlds apparently distant, but which, over time, merge into an unquestionably innovative and creative professional project.

Currently engaged as a Chef Designer member of the Italian Chefs Federation, in various collaborations in Italy, for training, the realization of industry events, and the development of the visibility of chefs, restaurateurs and product enhancements.


Fabrizia hello and thank you for accepting to answer some of our questions. Can you tell us what is Cook Design  Italy and how was your idea born?
This idea was born above all from my love for Italian cuisine and from my desire to bring my contribution to innovation in the sector. Many colleagues have asked me to help them to propose their business in a different way, through the contribution of the web and in particular social media, tools that are now unavoidable for every type of business.

So I offer advice for the development of a brand, restaurant activities not started or to be relaunched or for the enhancement of individual professionals and their creations and above all I offer support in the management of large training and marketing events.

In your work, how important was the degree you have achieved in art history with specialization in graphics, drawing and engraving?
I would say that it was very important because I have always considered art and cooking 2 similar elements and for me cooking is like painting, and the dish and the ingredients are like the canvas and the colors. Cooking and painting are 2 forms of art that can not be expressed only with technique but need creativity, that comes from the heart and soul.

Studying the history of art I understood how it is similar to the history of cooking because both teach us the importance of culture and knowledge.

Fabrizia what is your relationship with the cuisine, tastes and flavors of other countries?

The cuisine is culture and you can not only love the Italian one, also because the same Italian cuisine contains in its history traditions of neighboring lands. I love all the cuisine of the world, and I’m always very curious to know and  realize  new tastes because only in this way it is possible to create and innovate, through knowledge and discovery.

For this reason I have traveled a lot. I was in fact in Mexico, South East Africa and the USA to learn  techniques and dishes that have greatly enriched me. I love my job and I’m always looking for new flavors, traditions and stories to bring to the table.

And demonstrating this I created a brand that is based exclusively on the ITALIAN TRADITION of fish, but presented and shared with very special menus that can even have 30 courses, as well as in Japan. I call them small works of taste!

It comes from an intuition: eating the best Italian fish, in its traditional recipes but presented in the shapes and with the traditions of sushi!

We know that for work you provide advice for the Paciotti family, present in Rai at the Prova del Cuoco with Stefano Paciotti. I’d like to know what you think about the success of the TV programs dedicated to the kitchen.

Many television programs are the luckiest and misfortunest of our industry. On the one hand they increase interest, curiosity and approach the world of food, but on the other they create false myths and scientists of the gourmet, those who make the wise in the restaurant just because they saw it on TV.
I know what is behind a TV program and I do not deny that I would like it to be “authentic and” “genuine” as what moves the passion for cooking, but it is TV, and therefore should be taken in my opinion in small doses.
Thank you for your time in Fabrizia and we look forward to meeting you again in the future.
Thanks to you for the chance and a greeting to all readers of Ristomananager, see you soon to tell you about new projects and other stories of art and taste!

Interview at the Hotel Ristorante Olimpia in Abbadia San Salvatore

Today on our blog we interview the owners of Albergo Ristorante Olimpia, Abbadia San Salvatore, in the province of Siena.

Let’s start immediately with a very simple question: at the Albergo Olimpia Restaurant, do you have any typical dish of the house?

Among the first courses, we have a tasty porcini mushroom soup, while for the latter we prepare a great roast with wild fennel, or if you prefer some excellent eggplant all’Olimpia. As for desserts instead, we have a delicious curly-haired ready to be enjoyed.


We remain on the subject of dishes, and we would like to ask you what are the dishes most requested by your customers?

Surely the most popular soups are homemade pasta.


A question that directly concerns the Albergo Ristorante Olimpia as a company: how long have you been open?

We have been in this business for 75 years.


And if any of our users wanted to reach you to taste your specialties, where should they go?

Our Albergo Ristorante Olimpia is located in the central area of ​​Abbadia San Salvatore in the province of Siena.


We also wondered if you also have a take-away service.

We have no such service at the moment.


Now let’s move on to a more technical question, concerning possible IT tools used by the Albergo Ristorante Olimpia: do you have a system to know the stock of your warehouse?

Yes, we have it because we are aware that always knowing stocks is a fundamental thing for every activity in our sector.


As for customers, do you have habituèe?

Indeed yes: it is always a pleasure to see that a customer becomes attached to our local.


Returning to talk about computer science, how do you take the orders in the hall? Do you use tablets or smartphones?

We at the Alberg0 Ristorante Olimpia are linked to tradition, so we prefer the old way with the waiter.


As for customer services, do you make home deliveries?

No, we prefer direct contact with our customers.


We thank the Albergo Ristorante Olimpia for your kind availability and patience in answering our questions, and we invite you to continue to follow our interviews with the various restaurant activities.