I was lucky enough to grow up in Don Alfonso's kitchen in Sant'Agata Sui due Golfi, since my father bought a house there, in the place where I would have spent all my summer vacations, just a few meters away from the restaurant.
He was my mother's childhood friend, and because of that he welcomed me straight away as a family person. Alfonso Iaccarino was about to become one of the most significant chefs worldwide and I was there, listening to all of his precious advices. The respect for my land, its products, and their seasonality.
I believe that all of us passionate about fine cuisine, own something to him. I perfectly remember before the Don Alfonso was born, that the finest restaurants, and above all a proper nutrition, where concepts and values that from Rome down didn't exist yet, and Alfonso reached that without appealing to any kind of alchemy, instead by just exploiting the products that his land offered to him, that until that moment were surely not enhanced enough.
Today we can say that in the Campania region we have the best tomatoes, the best olive oil and the best pasta, mainly thanks to him.
His proficiency in the kitchen, never accepting multinationals offer to follow him in his journey as a chef first and as a restaurateur later on, would have brought him to deny his land, his culture, and his history. All of this made me see him as an irreplaceable example to follow.
My new adventure, "CORTESE WAY", couldn't be other than dedicated to him.