Tony Mantuano will send you to Italy (if you work for him)
You know you’re in the right profession when your boss tells you, “Why don’t you take a break and go eat your way through Italy?” Chris Marchino, executive sous chef at
“Tony really feels that once you’ve experienced Italy, it really gives you a new perspective on things at Spiaggia,” Marchino said. Mantuano and Sarah Grueneberg, Spiaggia’s Executive Chef, have both made the trip before.
“The one thing you can’t teach anyone is the day-to-day things you do living there—waking up, having an espresso, the way Italians do things,” Mantuano said. “It’s just the sense of culture he’ll pick up and bring back to Spiaggia.”
Marchino will travel as the "culinary pro" on a Gourmet Destinations tour. The rest of the people on the tour, which technically could be you and me (if we had about $4,000 to spare), will be rolling out May 27th and tourist traps are nowhere to be seen on the agenda. Truffle hunting and a visit to Cinte Sensi, a pig farm famous for its salami, are just a few of the adventures planned.
One particular activity Marchino is looking forward to is learning about honey production from bee farmers that are producing a unique single-flower honey. "These farmers in Italy are producing these products that are just so cool and different than you can find here," Marchino said. "It's really meeting these people that I look forward to the most."
Along with potentially getting stung by bees (a small price I’d be happy to pay for a trip to Tuscany!), Marchino will be cooking side-by-side with Italian chefs.
“I think it is easy for a lot of chefs that grow up in the United States…to change things, change dishes, change traditional techniques, where as a lot of times, it’s best when you just keep it simple and keep it very true to the origins of the food,” Marchino said.
You can follow Marchino‘s Tuscan adventures (May 27-June 3) on Facebook, Twitter and on Spiaggia’s blog.
Ciao Chris! Send me a postcard?
If you’re interested in signing up for the trip check out Gourmet Destinations.