Gianfranco Minuz, an Italian chef, developed a passion for cooking at a very young age in his hometown of Portogruaro in the region of Veneto, a part of the Tre Venezie in Northern Italy. That same passion for cooking runs in the family. Minuz grew up learning how to process and cure salami and prosciutto from his father, a butcher; while his mother’s expertise in the kitchen sparked his initial interest in cooking professionally. As a young boy, he successfully mastered his mother’s signature dishes: homemade gnocchi, apple strudel, minestrone, and most of all the duck that she so lovingly prepared for him.
In 1972 at age fifteen, Gianfranco attended the regional culinary school of Friuli-Venezia Giulia and following commencement at seventeen, he immediately began working at a Michelin-starred restaurant called Bella Venezia in a small town in the province of Udine.
For the next few years Minuz gained experience in restaurants specializing in their local cuisine. At age 24, he worked at a two Michelin-starred restaurant in Imola called San Domenico that paved the way for his future job working with the renowned Gulatiero Marchesi, considered to be the founder of modern Italian cuisine. Working with Marchesi, in his three Michelin-starred restaurant, Minuz gained significant experience in nuova cucina (new cuisine), which brought Italian home-style cooking to the restaurant market.
In 1986, Minuz accepted a job at Cà Masieri in Trissino located in the Veneto region, winning the restaurant a Michelin star during his ten-year tenure. Minuz’s career shifted when he accepted a job offer in the United States, which led to further opportunities. In 1997 he moved to Scottsdale, Arizona where he opened Veneto Trattoria and the following year also opened Trattoria Tre Venezie in Pasadena, California. Tre Venezie specialized in the cuisine of the Tre Venezie area: Veneto, Friuli, and Trentino regions. He ran the kitchen for ten years, which resulted in his earning a Michelin star. Subsequently, he worked in La Botte’s kitchen, in Santa Monica.
His dishes are unique as he uses fresh, organic and seasonal products from the Los Angeles’ and Ventura County area farmer’s markets, and works with local farmers and vendors. Minuz is now revolutionizing his Italian cuisine using seasonal, organic Farmer’s Market products in his traditional-style cooking. He is always evolving and learning more about food.
Currently, Chef Minuz is working on a series of cookbooks, collaborating on a new venture and catering.