Francesco Mazzei

Credit Brambilla-Serrani

Credit Brambilla-Serrani


20 Savile Row
​W1S 3PR London
Great Britain

Footballer or ice cream maker: this could have been the future of the young man from Calabria Francesco Mazzei, if he had not had a passion for fashion brands. To be able to afford a pair of Levis, at the age of 8 he decided to earn pocket money helping his uncle make ice cream in his artisan shop. The story goes that one day a famous local chef happened to stop by and asked to try a mangia e bevi (‘eat and drink’), something Francesco himself had created (fruit and sorbet). He loved it, and that was the moment Mazzei’s career was sealed.

After learning to make pasta too (with his mum and grandma), he left sunny Calabria to move to Rome first, then Scotland, London and finally the Middle East, learning the skills and the culinary arts from people such as Willi Elsener, Henry Brosi e Alan Yau. In 2008 the chance to open up a restaurant in the British capital: L’Anima, Mazzei’s elegant City of London outpost, immediately got plenty of praise from public and critics.

His ‘pastachina’ (similar to lasagna, with eggs, greens and meat) became a favourite not only of the expat Italians, seeking home flavours, but also of the English crowds, right at the time of the rediscovery of Italy’s regional cuisine abroad.

Francesco never forgets his birth region and  gives it fame through its typical produce: if the spicy ‘nduja is now a household name in England, is thanks to him. After all, every two months he travels back to his roots, picking the best of the terroir to bring it back across the Channel; not only to boost local economy but also to continue his efforts to promote the knowledge of Southern Italy’s best flavours around the British isles.

After quitting L’Anima, he’s been in charge of Sartoria since 2015, transforming the established Mayfair restaurant into a destination for Italian fine dining; here not only Calabria is the basis of his dishes, but the entire country, with its vast culinary heritage. Two more restaurants followed soon: Radici, a family style trattoria in Islington and Fiume, near the iconic Battersea Power Station.

Now a name on the food scene in Britain (also thanks to a few TV appearances), Francesco is an excellent testimonial for Calabria and Italy overall.

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Federica Carr

A British citizen from Naples, obsessive scuba diver, digital marketing manager Monday to Friday, foodie at any given time