Gian Luca Forino

Credits Brambilla-Serrani

Credits Brambilla-Serrani

Many know him from television. In 2014 he participated in Il Più Grande Pasticciere – the talent show Rai dedicated to professional pastry making, where he came second and stood out, not only because of his soft “r”, but for his elegant and well-structured desserts. Plus, he’s currently the pastry making tutor in TV show Detto Fatto.

Yet Gian Luca Forino – born in Rome in 1989 though there’s 25% Austrian blood running in his veins – is not just a pastry chef on stage.

His passion for this culinary art started as a child, when he helped his grandmother Pina in preparing some typical Mitteleuropean cakes. So – what with a strudel, a Sacher torte and an equation, after graduating from the Liceo Scientifico, Gian Luca followed the road of pastry making and in particular of chocolate.

Courses and training on the job gave their results: in 2013 he won the World Junior Pastry Championship and even got the special prizes for best sugar sculpture, best chocolate sculpture, best modern cake and best pralines.

2014, on top seeing him on television, is the year of chocolate: Forino became an official taster at the International Chocolate Institute while in 2015 he got the silver medal at the International Chocolate Award.

But above all, this is the year he opened La Portineria. Located in Porta Pia, in Rome, it’s a cosy restaurant- pastry shop – bistro with a vaguely vintage atmosphere where his offer ranges from breakfast to after dinner – including a rich brunch with cakes, bagels and pancakes, at the week end. Here you can enjoy sweet and savoury products, always characterised by careful preparations and ingredients of the highest quality, as well as a good dose of creativity, but never over the top.

His recipes are often inspired by his travels around the world, which led to the “Pasticcere in viaggio” project. For instance, the excellent single-portion dessert Dana: crispy biscuit with coffee grains and salted peanuts, mousse of olive oil with cardamom and white coffee infusion, soft almond biscuit and white chocolate icing. Refined and not overly sweet, it is inspired by a trip to Jordan.

Gian Luca currently teaches pastry making in private and state schools and collaborates with university research and development programmes in food microbiology.

Has participated in

Identità Milano


Luciana Squadrilli

a journalist born in Naples now living in Rome, she tries to make her three passions meet: eating, travelling and writing