We met for you Chef Gino Campagna, a reference about italian cuisine in California.
We know together his story and what he do every day for our cuisine.
1) Nine words to introduce you.
Funny, engaging, energetic, loud, positive, passionate, playful, caring and… did I say funny?
2) What is the episode that started your food passion?
I was born in Parma, the capital of food in the world. I was born surrounded by great food, my mom was a chef in the local nursery school and she introduced me to everything good. I guess it was my destiny!
3) What were you doing in Italy and why did you decide to leave?
My background is in education. In Italy I was a Animatore Pedagogico and I was very successful at my job. When I came to the states, attracted by the California’s lifestyle, I noticed that American kids lacked Food IQ and I decided it to make my life mission trying to help them understand and prepare great food.
4) What does it mean to you to be an Italian chef abroad?
I think when you say you’re Italian and a chef you are sure, in America, to put a smile on everybody’s face. Americans love Italian food and the people who prepares it.
5) What is the Italian recipe that most represents you?
I make a “Killer Lasagna”. I make it the way my mom makes it. Fresh homemade spinach pasta, Ragu alla Bolognese, besciamella and naturally lots of Parmigiano Reggiano.
6) What are the three essential Made in Italy products for your kitchen?
Parmigiano Reggiano, Olio d’oliva and Aceto Balsamico di Modena.
7) Which one in your opinion is the biggest stereotype foreigners have about the Italian cuisine or Italian food?
The thing that Americans don’t understand is that there is never A recipe. One that everybody does BUT that every family makes their own version of traditional recipes.
8) Speaking about the “Italian Sounding” phenomenon, what do you think are the solutions to oppose it?
I think Italians have to stop being so “precious”.
They say they want to sell Real Italian Food abroad but deep inside they think NOBODY understand Italian food outside of Italy. We have to do a better job in educating people around the world. We need to come down from our high horses and start advertising, educate, promote real Italian food so that there’ll be no more confusion on what’s REAL.
9) What are your future projects?
In the fall you will see me in the second season of the A&E’s show: Born This Way.
I’m also very proud to announce that I just signed the contract and I’m working on my first book with Rodale Inc. in New York