My name is Ilaria and I am a chef by passion.
I have been a financial consultant for 15 years then passion took over, a little animated by the banking crisis.
With the support of my parents, especially my mother who insisted a lot and my boyfriend who is an indispensable part of this project, I qualified and immediately started working in kitchens. They believed in me right away and always; without them Chef and the City would not exist.
When I cook, I enter my Kingdom: it's a place where all the senses come into play. I use my hands, mind and heart at the same time.
I am curious and creative, I love food and I respect it.
My secret ingredient? Time.
Knowing how to cook (which is not knowing how to make some food!) means knowing how to treat food, giving it the utmost respect, deeply knowing its character and reactions. Well yes, almost like for a person.
If I think, for example, of a pompous aubergine, a fragrant apple or a stoic potato, I feel like speaking to them.
So when they ask me for any suggestion or recipes, I always ask first "when, whom and what occasion". Because it depends. Of course it depends.
A classic recipe can be enriched or lightened to make it more suitable for that specific purpose, as one dish can be better than another.
I want to tell you a story.
Gianni was one of my most loyal customers. Every morning, he peeped out "good morning chef, how are you this morning?".
Gianni is a 70 years old gentleman, Milanese of those who "ghe n'è pü" ("like there is no more around" in Milanese dialect).
He loves cooking, unlike his wife; he runs a vegetable garden which he takes cares like it was one of his little nephews and he does seasonal shopping.
One day he asked me for the recipe to make a cake. "Who's the cake for, Gianni?" ” For my wife and for me", he replied. "We'll have it for breakfast or maybe after dinner”. I gave Gianni the recipe for my apple and cinnamon cake. The apple cake was perfect because it's extremely versatile: breakfast, snack or dinner, it covers them all. It's like a nineteenth-century lady: perfumed and full of rhinestones and sequins on her soft and embroidered dark amber dress. You can fully enjoy it with all your senses.
I was happier than Gianni himself when I gave him the recipe!
By clicking here you can see me in a very short reel where I introduce myself :-)