Chef Gianfranco began his love affair with cooking at a very early age at his mother’s knee in the Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region of Northern Italy where he grew up. By the age of 15, he was already working on his craft. He attended the hotel services/culinary school, Encalc, in his native Veneto and was soon working at a Michelin-starred restaurant, Bella Venezia.
In his 20’s Gianfranco was working at two-star Michelin restaurant, Imola, then went on to work for his hero, the late maestro Gualtiero Marchesi at his three-star Michelin restaurant. There, Gianfranco learned Nuova Cucina, or Italian nouvelle cuisine, which still influences his dishes today. He then traveled to Paris to learn the secrets of French pastry. He later traveled to Egypt on his quest for culinary excellence, learning about exotic spices then heading off to race around the pyramids on horseback.
Returning to Italy, he then implemented some of the spices of Egypt and India into elevated Italian regional cooking. He won Michelin stars of his own in Italy at the hotel and restaurant Ca Masieri.
In his 40’s, Gianfranco made the decision to move to the USA. He first worked in Scottsdale, Arizona at Veneto Trattoria, before heading to California. Not speaking the language, he still managed to win a Michelin star for his small fine dining establishment in Pasadena, Tre Venezia.
After the closing of Tre Venezia, Gianfranco was employed as an executive chef at La Botte, Il Moro, and Locanda del Lago. His innovative use of spices, the fusing of California farm-to-table with regional Italian dishes, and genius for flavors attracted the attention of the press and devoted foodies alike.
Now, Chef Gianfranco brings the benefit of his years of experience and excellence to the consulting he provides with new restaurant openings, menu planning, recipe development, and training of back of house staff. Gianfranco also provides private chef services, home cooked meals, and catering for intimate dinners.