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!