10 great sous chefs: who is behind the starred chefs

10 great sous chefs: who is behind the starred chefs

Behind the great cooks there is a small army of ghost chefs, the sous chefs, often as good as their mentors: we will tell you 10.

They are young, but behind them they have a training as hard as that of the San Marco Battalion. They are the shadows of their masters: they follow them, they learn, but they know how to take on the responsibility of very demanding palates. They are intelligent, creative, very serious professionals.the sous chef is the right hand man to trust with his eyes closed when the chef star is not in the office They are the sous chefs , the latter, often defined as ghost chefs , the ghost chefs who handle the cookware of starred kitchens, but know how to reveal themselves through their culinary creations. A sous chef is the right arm, the man (or woman) to trust with his eyes closed even when the chef star is around to enter into business agreements, sign autographs at the first cooking shows or taste dishes in international competitions. of food. So who is behind such well-known names as those of Massimo Bottura, Carlo Cracco, Davide Scabin and many others? We tell you about 10.


  1. luca abbadirLuca Abbadir – Moreno Cedroni’s sous chef at the Madonnina del Pescatore : from comic book lover to second of the great chef from the Marche region. Luca Abbadir’s artistic soul was molded in the formative kitchens of the Alma, and in the empirical ones of Uliassi and the English chef Blumenthal at The Fat Duck, one of the best restaurants in the world. A apprenticeship in battle restaurants – as he defines them – and 8 years as a commis at the Madonnina del Pescatore to jump from the dining room to the kitchen and become Cedroni’s right hand man. He says of his chef: “he is the first to get involved: he is in front of the stove to sauté whether the covers are 10 or 50 ”.
  2. takahiko kondoTakahiko Kondo – Massimo Bottura’s sous chef at Osteria Francescana with Davide Di Fabio : 36 years old and a strong passion for Italian cuisine, Takahiko Kondo is one of Massimo Bottura’s two sous chefs. Arriving at the starred restaurant in 2005, when the star was one and the kitchens were small, the Japanese chef grew up with his guru who became almost “a brother, my family” for him , as Taka himself likes to say. His approach to our cuisine took place in Japan, where he worked in Italian restaurants for many years as a cook:  “Before arriving at the Osteria Francescana I traveled around Italy to understand your culture: the producers, the restaurants, the ‘art, life in Italy “. A little bit of seasonal training, and from the Sadler in Milan to the Osteria Francescana, with his talent and dedication, it was a short step.
  3. andrea gianellaAndrea Gianella – Claudio Sadler’s sous chef al Saldler  (right in the photo): would you have ever imagined that a collector of vintage Lego and vespista in his spare time would become the sous chef of a starred restaurant? Andrea Gianella, born in 1987, is the right hand of Claudio Sadler in Milan, chef of the restaurant of the same name, holder of two Michelin stars. After the hotel school on Lake Maggiore and a series of summers spent in the kitchens of the Valle D’Aosta and the Lake, Andrea first arrives at Corrado Lombardo and then at Ezio Santin. It takes its roots from Sadler 3 years ago, passing from head of the first party to sous chef for the salty part. Of himself he says: “I am a fussy and ambitious person” . His chef? “A master, a determined one” .
  4. Francesco-di-LorenzoFrancesco Di Lorenzo – Anthony Genovese’s sous chef at Il Pagliaccio : 35 years old, a genuine Calabrian, and only two loves: food and his girlfriend. He did his apprenticeship around Europe: in addition to working at the Savoy in Florence and at Villa Cimbrone in Ravello, he spent the seasons in the kitchens of the sea and of the mountains in Austria and Switzerland, honing his skills behind the stove. He arrived from Anthony Genovese in Rome by chance: a 4-month internship that has now turned into 8 years of work and passion. “Working with Genovese is like working with a brother” – explains Francesco – “we immediately found a harmony, which has grown more and more over the years” .
  5. alessandro procopioAlessandro Procopio – Davide Oldani’s sous chef at D’O . Who is the shadow of Davide Oldani, one of the best known chefs in Italy? His name is Alessandro Procopio. Best sous chef 2013 at Identità Golose, the story of Alessandro at D’O is almost a dream: one of his favorite chefs is about to open a restaurant nearby, he knocks on his kitchen and Oldani hires him. It was 2003 and has stayed there ever since. Some experience abroad (London, Paris, Roanne), wanted by Oldani to push him to learn the real techniques, and the return to his first kitchen of Cornaredo which he has never abandoned.
  6. luca sacchi and carlo craccoLuca Sacchi – sous chef Carlo Cracco at Ristorante Cracco . 29 years old and Best Pastry Chef 2014 at Identità Golose. Luca Sacchi is a lover of music and sweets. What does a profile like this have to do with Carlo Cracco? The chef has chosen him as the right hand man for his restaurant in Milan. Less than 30 years and a very respectable curriculum: the first experience is at the Osteria di Ezio Santin, a renowned culinary place in Cassinetta di Lugagnano, where he discovers his love for pastry. After experiences in Porto Cervo and Garlenda and in France in catering, he came to Cracco as an assistant pastry chef 8 years ago. Today he has become the second of Carlo Cracco and he often says of him: “it is a light to follow” .
  7. Giuseppe-RambaldiGiuseppe Rambaldi – Davide Scabin’s sous chef at Combal.Zero . 43 years old, Calabrian raised in Emilia. Giuseppe Rambaldi has been Davide Scabin’s sous chef at Combal.Zero since 1998. Long rocker hair and a lot of creativity in the head and hands that he pours into his almost histrionic dishes. Culinary speaking, Beppe is the son of seasons spent in starless pizzerias and seaside restaurants, who grew up with the memory of the canteens where his father served. Experimentation, especially in pastry, is his forte. After 17 years of collaboration with Scabin he is now the alter ego of Combal.Zero and of the relationship with his chef he says: “it is based on respect. After so many years of work we still manage to get excited about everything we do “ .
  8. paolo griffaPaolo Griffa – Marco Sacco’s sous Chef at the Piccolo Lago. 24 years old and already sous chef of a starred restaurant. Paolo Griffa, although so young, has come a long way: the ultimate satisfaction? He was the Italian finalist of the S. Pellegrino Young chef 2015 competition representing our nation with his Tripe and Foie gras. After his hotel studies in Turin, Paolo begins a journey of knowledge and experimentation: an internship with Stefano Gallo in Turin, an experience in Anthony Delhasse’s Belgian cuisine and a great stroke of luck for his career, he arrives in the kitchen of Combal.Zero by Davide Scabin where he remained for 2 years, of which a year and a half in the pastry section next to Rambaldi. Thanks to his dedication and talent, the step from Combal.Zero to Marco Saccoo’s Piccolo Lago is short. He becomes sous chef.
  9. simone corbo-chefSimone Corbo – Antonino Cannavacciuolo’s sous chef at Villa Crespi . Looking at nightmare kitchens and Antonio Cannavacciuolo’s nice slaps, who hasn’t thought: “ Who knows who gets them in your kitchen? “. Simone Corbo! 33 years old, sous chef at Villa Crespi, Simone has a lot of international experience behind him, especially French: he worked alongside Jean-Marie Gautier and Philippe Labbè, two highly respected French chefs, but his place is next to Cannavacciuolo, one of the most famous chefs in Italy. Responsibility and dedication are the characteristics that define Simone, who holds the two Michelin stars of Villa Crespi high every day.
  10. emiliano-pascucci-la-pergolaEmiliano Pascucci – Heinz Beck’s sous chef in La Pergola  Emiliano Pascucci really got to know the mess before arriving at Beck’s: after his hotel studies he spends a few years in the kitchens of the military service officers’ canteens, in two vegetarian restaurants, he takes care of the opening of a restaurant in Vicenza and carries out internships abroad, also landing in the UK and among the fiery kitchens of The Fat Duck. A nomadic and wandering culinary soul that finds its dimension at Heinz Beck’s La Pergola in 1996: “ I had already gained several experiences, but all of them rather short. This struck Beck who asked me why I never stayed long in one place. I replied that inside of me I felt I had not yet found the best. The same day, I started in La Pergola”, Said Emiliano in an interview with Fine Dining Lovers . It has been there for 19 years.

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