Carmine Calò

The second generation of Marche region culinary vanguard is start pushing and making itself noticed by many. And that happens even if the identity card has written on this sign a different birthplace name like Irpinia. Cooking for Carmine Calò was a tormented calling: as a kid he used to take ring-shaped cakes out of the oven until, after getting his diploma, he entered the kitchen doorstep as an amateur baker working from time to time while studying.
In the third year of high school, the turning point: «I asked a friend of my father, a restaurant owner, if he needed an help and he answered yes. I felt great and joyful about that. I started working doing all kind of jobs: I used to wash pans and dishes but the excitement was so high that I used to do that with great pleasure. When the school was over, I committed myself body and soul on the restaurant, so much that, after few months I became the chef of it, being it for 6 years since then».

But the calling was still calling: Carmine started looking for an ideal diving-board to dive on a very personal cooking style. A good restaurant in Marche region was looking for a chef: he set up his luggage and worked in that place for a year and then he purchased an agriturismo, in the same area. «Without thinking twice, me and a friend I met in the previous restaurant decided we should do what we really liked».
Maitre and sommelier Fabrizio Merlini is still Carmine’s partner. In the language of fairy tales, he would be defined as “the assistant”.

Carmine smelled the flavor of freedom and deepened the knowledge of raw materials thanks to a direct production of herbs and vegetables. Yet, as time goes by, the blanket got shorter and shorter: «we felt the need to work on a different space, to set our fantasies free, without being tied to anything, even being it our productions».
In 2006, the big change after moving to an ancient villa of his own hometown: a tailor-made restaurant. «Here I built the basis to found my own cooking style, centered on simple local products, drawing inspirations from some typical recipes, lightly modified with a touch of fantasy. I love technology because it helps me to exalt what I really want to distill from an ingredient», says Carmine.

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Alessandra Meldolesi

Umbra di Perugia con residenza a Bologna, è giornalista e scrittrice di cucina. Tra i numeri volumi tradotti e curati, spicca "6, autoritratto della Cucina Italiana d’Avanguardia" per Cucina & Vini