It’s a shame to forget our origins, a gesture of arrogance
that precludes the possibility of future discoveries.
Keep this in mind.
When you taste one of my dishes not only will you be living my story, you will be experiencing
my personal research of the future.
I’m 40 and when I look back I see a 15 year old kid that divided his time between boring lessons at the vocational hotel school and weekends and summer vacations spent chopping parsley and cleaning vegetables at the small, local restaurants of my town. At that time I knew that I would have become a cook, but I didn’t know when nor how. So, when someone speaks to me of “holy fire” I know that to successfully go through it means hours and hours repeating the same tasks. I also know that a career needs lucky coincidences and combinations. It was November 1991 and the only thing I was certain of was that I would not do what tens of restaurants along the Costiera were doing. For four years I worked, worked and worked waiting for “that” something to happen that turned the page. I found it unacceptable to offer my clientele extravagant combinations of non traditional sauces and lower than high quality ingredients particularly fish, vegetables or cheeses that are directly related my territory’s richness. It was unacceptable then as it is now.
At that point began four difficult months as stagier with Gianfranco Vissani. Four important months to understand that the type of cooking I had imagined wasn’t an improbable obsession, but was instead, there, right in front of me, a creative, practical, theoretical and satisfying happy possibility.2001 is a milestone in my story: the first Michelin star and the experience of having Le Louis XV at Montecarlo and in Paris at Plaz a Athénée with Alain Ducasse who came in my restaurant, thanks to my good friend, Vito Cinque, owner of S. Pietro Hotel in Positan, a very well reknown hotel for international tourism. In France I learned that a cook can’t manage a “disorganized genius”. Cooking in the true sense is the equivalent of mental order, that needs creativity, but translates in discipline and science, all elements in their right order and quantity, like the ingredients of a great dish.
Someone recently asked me what professional accomplishment gave me the greatest sense of gratification. I answered that it was the admission to the Association of Young European Restaurant Owners in 1999. Why? Because the comfort and experience sharing with peers ignites a strong sense of belonging to something that excludes competition and rivalry. In 2003 I obtained Three Forks from Gambero Rosso, a prestigious classification that since then is seeing me at the top of the standing still today. 2003 was an important year also for something else. It was the year in which I was able to create an event for my beloved town, an event different from all the others, a 3 day event, a party. La Festa a Vico that gathers reknown and promoising chefs to cook together for thousands of guests that crowd the streets of this splendid town on the Seiano coast. In 2003 the event began with 11 chefs, today there are over 250. I earned the Second Michel Star in 2008. In 2011 I was nominated the “Best Italian Chef of the Year” by the gastronomic congress “Identità Golose”; the Gambero Rosso guide included me as the one of the top 3 Italian chefs. In September of that year my team and I were prominent actors in the documentary “More than an Artist” directed by Elisabetta Pandimiglio and presented at the 68th Cinema Festival of Venezia. In 2010 I created my brand "Gennaro Esposito Chef" that recognizes the dignity and value of one if the key ingredients in the Italian, not to mention worldwide, kitchens, the tomatoe . From the onset, the offering has been enriched with objects of design that I personally have created. Today many of my products are sold/enjoyed in many foreign countries.
A new adventure began in 2014 with the opening of my restaurant "Mammà" in Capri. "Mammà" received its first Michelin star just the following year.In Ibiza in 2015 we opened "IT" becoming an immediate meeting place for passionate gourmet and food lovers. At the same time I was contacted by SKY offering me the opportunity to be a judge in their Master Chef 2016 program. But this story needs to still be written...
IT’S A SHAME
to forget our roots
of pride that precludes the possibility of future discoveries
YOU WILL BE LIVING