Alessandro Giardiello

Del Posto

85, 10th avenue
New York
Stati Uniti
T. +1.212.4978090

Alessandro Giardiello is a leading exponent of the new Italian sommellerie: youngsters just into their twenties capable of stealing the scene from star chefs with the fireworks sparked off by their combinations, restoring lost charisma to the restaurant. Not just anyone can occupy this place at the centre of attention, it requires a solid and extensive knowledge of international wines, cheeses, spirits and cigars. More than a director, an eclectic and prompt trait-d’union between the client and the cuisine.

A son of far Northern Italy, Alessandro Giardiello was born in 1980 in Omegna, the little town overlong Lake d’Orta where Gianni Rodari was also born. He approached the restaurant sector by chance, attended Maggia di Stresa catering school and continued his training with the Ais; following specialisation courses in management and service in hôtellerie. Apprentice and then commis at Pettenasco, he progressed to chef de rang and wine assistant, first at the Giardinetto hotel and then at Cantina d’Oro in Leigh-on-Sea, in the UK: and the name rings almost as an omen of the glories to come. In the (all-Italian) restaurant, he exercised his charm in the dining room and practised his very fluent English. The big leap forward came in 2001 with his arrival at Soriso’s Sorriso, the long-term 3-star restaurant, where he holds the role of cheese expert and sommelier, from service at the table to the practical management of the cellar, with the exception of buying. In 2003-2004 these skills extended to the dining rooms and offices of Pettenasco’s Approdo, a 4-star restaurant where he dons the guise of maître and sommelier, managing personnel and the cellar, organising events and taking care of cash management.

Before and after comes the maison of his destiny, Villa Crespi on the lake where he was born, Orta, the decadent setting of the devastating talent of Antonino Cannavacciuolo. He’s stopped there several times: first as chef de rang and second sommelier; from 2005 until today as overall manager of wines, sommelier and cheese expert, holding the reins of a cellar containing 1,200 labels and exercising a persuasive PR activity. The official consecration came when Guida de l’Espresso 2008 named him sommelier of the year. But he has no intention to rest on his Italian laurels: it’s time to migrate, to New York and the court of Mario Batali at Del Posto.

A few examples of his intemperance? Eating and drinking with Piedmonts’ Moscato Passito and Passito di Pantelleria jelly, a daring north/south duel fought out with a spoon, or fennel mojito with appetizers. His passions? Champagne Jacques Selosse, Coulée de Serrant, pinot nero and great riesling, but also little-known wines with an advantageous price/quality ratio.

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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