At Espresso di Manfredi we are inspired to partner with skilled artisans and crafts people, producers and personnel who share our core brand values and display that certain sense of Sprezzatura, and who may assist us in our constant endeavour to deliver a unique and finessed customer experience.
Each month, we speak with some of the country’s leading experts in their chosen field on all things Sprezzatura; an effortless sense of style.
Gabriele Taddeucci has been a part of the extended Espresso di Manfredi family since he was appointed Head Chef of Stefano Manfredi’s Osteria Balla in 2011. Gabriele is originally from Lucca, Italy and has cooked throughout Italy, France, Switzerland, England and Australia. A true master of his craft, Gabriele in an inspiring example of a dedicated leader and a passionate Italian who embodies many Italian core values. We caught up with Gab to discuss his career and all things Sprezzatura.
1. When did your passion for cooking start?
I have to say very early, I was about 4-5 years old and that is thanks to my Nanny Dora. She was a cook, a very good cook. I used to spend a lot of time in the kitchen with her during my afternoons after school. I clearly remember that I couldn’t even reach the table! She was putting me on a chair to make me taller because I wanted to see what she was doing and also help her. She taught me how to use “mezzaluna knife” and the importance of tasting the food. She was using a lot of herbs and vegetables from her garden. I can easily affirm that her food was the tastiest I can remember. I could keep writing and talking about her for hours and hours. She’s still alive, in her mid-80’s and every year when I go back to Italy I always go and visit her and she’s very proud about what I’ve done.
2. Who inspires you or where do you look for inspiration?
There’s no a particular person that I get inspired from, but I like talking to people, sharing thoughts and listen to everyone. I think “listening” is one of the best forms of inspiration. And then of course, I like reading about cooking.
3. What is your favourite ingredient?
Whatever the season can offer is always my preferred ingredient. The beauty of the seasonality is that you can always create different dishes.
4. What is your favourite Italian dish?
It’s like asking to a kid do you love mum or dad more? You can’t say one more than the other… and the same for me is for Italian food. I have so many favourite dishes, my mum has a full list of when I’m going back home every year.
5. How would you describe your personal cooking style?
I consider myself a nostalgic, so I cannot forget where I come from and the traditions I’ve learnt. My style of cooking is a modern interpretation of traditional Italian food, with a lot of attention to the use of the right ingredients in season.
6. On your day off, where will we find you?
Fishing…if I’m not too busy.
7. Tell us one thing you have learned from working with Stefano?
The importance of remaining humble and believe that we can always learn from everyone and from every experience. When I talk to him and I’m surprised because I think he knows pretty much everything, he always says: “I don’t know anything”. This means a lot to me, a person with his experience and his achievement that he won’t never stop researching and upgrading his knowledge.
8. Where is your favourite place in Italy?
Definitely Matraia (my father’s home town), right on the hills above Lucca. I spent my childhood there, I have a lot of memories and I always like going back and sitting under one of the millions olive trees surrounding the area and watch my Lucca from the top.
9. Who defines Sprezzatura for you?
My father, he’s an artisan he used to make shoes. I would never get bored watching him using his hands and creating things with such effortlessness.