So young for everything

Rosanna Marziale had to roll her sleeves up right from the start. And success didn’t run late

The chef at Le Colonne, in Caserta, 1 Michelin sta

The chef at Le Colonne, in Caserta, 1 Michelin star, Rosanna Marziale runs the family restaurant since the age of 16, when her father Gaetano passed away. She does so together with her mother Pasqualina, brother Loreto (who also takes care of San Bartolomeo, in the countryside around Caiazzo) and sister Maria

My attachment to the restaurant was a strong one, right from the start. I was born in the family establishment – which was then called La Bomboniera – created by my father Gaetano. This was the most popular restaurant in the entire province, both when it came to daily dining and to important occasions. When my father died, I was 16, too young to look after such a large restaurant but this is what I promised my father on the day of his funeral: «Dad, we’ll show you what we are capable of».

I must say that after all these years, forgetting that sworn statement and getting more and more passionate about all that regards the restaurant activity, first sort of unknowingly, now in a free way, I feel that I’m keeping that promise of mine. After time has gone by, as if it were a redemption, I recall this and tell others about it. These have been full years, dedicated to the business and to the intention of doing my best at all costs, so that guests can be happy and feel well.

Mozzarella ball filled with basil tagliolini

Mozzarella ball filled with basil tagliolini

Looking back at those years, I can see myself as the young girl discussing about important parties and lunches with adult clients. I was finalizing lots of contracts. Clients trusted the good name that my father had acquired over time but they also trusted me (I was 17) and this gave me the strength not to disappoint myself and them. The fact I was a woman was substituted by the fact I was very young, so young to give orders, so young to take important decisions, so young for everything. The fact I was a woman was less important. I almost forgot about it myself and (perhaps) so did the people I work with. What stood out was my character, identity, passion, my desire to reach my objectives.

I started off by taking some courses in management. These were followed by others as barman, sommelier, maître and I participated in many competitions that stimulated my curiosity and in internships too. My relationship with food has always been peculiar, both because of genetics and because of work. It has led me to experiment different approaches. I’ve been a committed vegetarian for over 10 years, I practiced fasting a few times, and I eliminated some of the main ingredients in the Mediterranean diet and not only those for longer and shorter periods. Thanks to this I’ve managed to understand many things about food but most of all about food-related psyche, so today I am very sensible to the subject.

We have a cultural and work heritage that is linked to the role of men and over the years we have had to imitate this approach. In my opinion, we should start to build some new approaches, giving value to the talents of our being without ending up with the stereotypical categories to which our mind is now accustomed to: male-female, or doctor-plumber-engineer. Everyone is catalogued according to an idea we have of them.

In conclusion, work is as important as family. I have worked a lot and I hope I’m still in time for all the rest. By focusing on my work I thought there wouldn’t be enough time for a family and I hope I will be able to compensate this lack.

Female chef's life stories

Women who, for a moment, leave pots and pans to tell us their experience and point of view


Rosanna Marziale

After learning from Gianfranco Vissani and Martín Berasategui, born in Campania, she's the chef of Le Colonne restaurant in Caserta, 1 Michelin star since 2013

Author's articles list