Postrivoro goes South. Interview with Giuseppe Di Martino, sous chef in Gennaro Esposito’s kitchen

Giuseppe Di Martino

Giuseppe Di Martino

I have never been at Torre del Saracino . I heard the stories about the menu through the words of my uncle who elected it as it most beloved restaurant in Italy. Only thinking about having something prepared by Giuseppe Di Martino, twenty-seven years old Gennaro Esposito’s sous chef, makes me drool.

Giuseppe will be next Postrivoro‘s chef for the event scheduled on February 2nd and 3rd in Faenza. With him Francesco Falcone, journalist and wine lover, coming from southern Italy too.

To introduce you to the dynamic duo I asked some questions to the young sous chef whose bio made me feel like a slacker. I’m talking about someone who just turned 27 (on January 8th) and has already accumulated over two decades of experience between Italy and the world.

During these years around kitchens I found a lot of young hardworking guys (and some girls). Those people were the ones that started the Hotelerie School at 14 and spent the holiday working in resort on the seaside. They don’t grow up to be TV star, even if they seem to be destined to it. They didn’t have time to hang aroung and they were always working while others were having fun.

However, these chefs are not all as serious looking as Cracco:  Giuseppe is very dedicated to his work, but also finds time to have fun and go to the stadium.

M: “Giuseppe, you’re really but with over 12 years and more of experience. I have always admired the great committment of all the people who work in the kitchen, and especially by those who starts during their early age. When and how did you realize that this was your life? “

G: “Let’s say it was almost a vocation. I’ve enjoyed cooking since as a child I used to  climb the refrigerator and make stock with everything that was there. I tried to prepare the first pies, omelettes or disasters that could come out in early age. Then  the Hotelerie High school, the diploma, the first harsh experiences, the first starred restaurant and so on. ”

He said, “and so on”, but then I asked in which city he worked and he told me the lists in a row, neat and meticulous. In the meantime, I looked back to my life, even though it was not a ordinary one and i traveled a lot. Even working on my laptop i can  smell the sea in Valencia where I spent few months.

G: “New York, Cannes, Piacenza, Lugano, Florence, Vico Equense. Here are a few places where i worked, then as you know, we travel a lot for events and meetings. And every time it’s an emotion that turns on a creative mechanism. It’s difficult to explain in words “

I loved the expression “as you know” and I felt part of a brigade. I really think that the job of a chef is a way of life that could be associated to that of a rock star. Lots of events around the world, fast stop at the hotel and then…yes, in the end you always works where others have fun. As Woody Allen said. But he was talking about gynecologists…

Giuseppe at Identità Golose 2012

M: What influences your creativity in the kitchen?

I know, the question is trivial, but I’m living a perfect Proustian moment and I wonder where is my Temps perdu. Give me a madeleine!

G: “My way of cooking is influenced by everything that Life puts us in front of me. To be more clear, if I’m facing something that does improve my skills and my way of being I try to capture it and work to improve it and make it my own in all its aspects. Having said that, my traditional roots go really deep and are not so easy to move seen the admiration I have for the gastronomic richness of my region, Campania. I like walking in large cities’downtown (Rome, New York, Paris, etc.) and I love to  look at the windows of big boutiques because they are always very charming and always up to date. And they are one of my favourite places to steal ideas from. Lastly, if we take into account the place where I live, my awakening on the sea front and eyes on the horizon it’s easy to understand what is the source of my inspiration “.

And the place where he lives, guys, is in the Amalfi coastline and and his working place is in a medieval watchtower  standing right in front of the mediterranean sea. Can you guess the perfume and the light that he finds out when he wakes up? I do. Even the relief you must feel after each service.

I do not know how to end this post because i’m lost in colors, flavors and fragrances of the land that I love so much in the south of Italy. Very unusual for this blog i let him saying the last words having realized that I’m dealing with someone who knows exactlywho he’s.

G: “I just can not imagine who I will be in ten years.  Certainly I do not believe in grey scale. For this reason I leave it to Time amd Life. In the  meanwhile I’m working on my willpower “

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