Growing up as an only child in Florence I remember my Mamma cooking three different dishes at almost every meal. It was simply because my dad, my mom and I had different tastes. That’s where I understood the ties food has to individuality and also the importance of tending to personal desires. That legacy continues on today in Los Angeles with my wife and eight year old son, every time we seat at the table.
I started my culinary profession in 1978. The first twelve years of my career were spent in my native Tuscany, sweating in trendy, upscale Florentine restaurants and hotels. I was traditionally educated in Italian and French cuisine at the Istituto Alberghiero “A. Saffi” in Florence. I was then un-traditionally broken-in at “La Loggia” restaurant, a large and popular hang-out of the Italian elite of the 80’s.
It was 1988 when Fabio Picchi from “Cibreó” took me under his wing. In his kitchen, under his totalitarian regime, working with an old wood stove and one burner (yes, just one) I really hardened my skills as a cook…and as a man! During that time I took the lead of the “Cibreó” team when it was selected to represent the “Best of Italy” at the Italian Manifesto Conference in Aspen, Colorado.
In 1990 I was called across the pond to man the stoves at “Locanda Veneta” restaurant in L.A., at that time rated one of the top 3 Italian eateries in SoCal. In the 90’s I also did consulting work with major restaurant chains in Japan and the US. I developed “In Cucina con Massimo”, to date continues to be the basis of a very successful cooking class program. Through extensive travels and spending almost half of my life in L.A. exposed me to an array of different cuisines, exotic ingredients and techniques, expanding my knowledge and ability.
By 2002 I teamed up with my life partner (and beautiful wife) Daniela to open “Massimo Ristorante” in Beverly Hills. During the next eight years I sharpened my craft not just as a Chef but also as an entrepreneur. Zagat Guide consistently rated “Massimo Ristorante” as one of the top 100 Italian restaurants in the United States and was selected as one of the top 50 restaurants by Los Angeles Magazine’s Top restaurant issue in 2008.(See Media for more information). Throughout my years in the kitchens of LA I also catered a vast number of large and small weddings, celebrity parties and entertainment events.
My years of sweating in paid off! Through my attention to food and details I was able to create great relationships with many regular customers, whom I currently keep tending to with my catering and cooking classes operation.