Dario Pandolfo



Cala Luna at Le Calette

12 via Vincenzo Cavallaro - Cefalù (Palermo)
tel. +39 0921 424144

Sometimes adversities are simply such; sometimes fate decides to bring good luck, and from manure – in the words of Faber – flowers are born.

So it happened that Dario Pandolfo, born in 1991 in Milazzo, back home from the holidays – he had been working for four years already at St. Hubertus with Norbert Niederkofler – got stuck in Sicily because of the first lockdown, in March 2020. Not to be idle, he contacted a local entrepreneur who was simply looking for someone who could make some good sandwiches for his hotel, in view of the summer season. He arrived without really presenting himself, that is to say without revealing that he was (though young) an accomplished professional, and working at a three-starred restaurant too. In any case, he got the job immediately. When the owner understood who he was working with, that is to say very soon, he handed him the entire kitchen. And so Pandolfo for the first time wore the toque of the head chef, at Ngonia Bay in his hometown Milazzo.

The anecdote is not just part of Pandolfo’s biography, but it is also a crucial part of his personality: the utmost humbleness with which he approaches not just his job, but life too. As for the latter, you never stop learning; and the former never reveals all its secrets easily, but one must say that Pandolfo had already acquired plenty of experience and before the famous establishment in Val Badia he had set foot in the equally prestigious kitchens of Geranium in Copenhagen, and two-starred Villa Joya in Albufeira in Portugal, and Terra in Val Sarentino. Now instead, as of the beginning of 2022, he’s at the helm of the culinary offer of Cala Luna, the fine dining restaurant of resort Le Calette in Cefalù.

What does he dish out? The offer is based on the region, his feelings and ideas. For sure it’s a representation of the chef’s origins and of the surrounding area; it’s sincere, true, without too many superstructures; it also meticulously interprets concepts that are truly important for a contemporary young chef, like no waste, attention to sustainability, the idea itself of a certain harmony with nature. Indeed, he handles the excellent ingredients available to him with huge respect.

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Carlo Passera

journalist born in 1974, for many years he has covered politics, mostly, and food in his free time. Today he does exactly the opposite and this makes him very happy. As soon as he can, he dives into travels and good food. Identità Golose's editor in chief