Mezzogiorno: Francesco Mazzei Recipes from Southern Italy

Francesco Mazzei

Mezzogiorno: Francesco Mazzei Recipes from Southern Italy
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Mezzogiorno: Francesco Mazzei Recipes from Southern Italy

Francesco Mazzei

Calabrian-born Francesco Mazzei is one of the great Italian chefs working in Britain today. Francesco appears regularly on Saturday Kitchen, MasterChef and he hosted the MasterChef celebrity final at his restaurant L'Anima in 2014.

Francesco Mazzei hails from Calabria – the toe on Italy’s boot and the region noted for producing n'duja (a spicy, spreadable pork sausage). Like n'duja, Mazzei has come to prominence in the last few years impressing fellow chefs, bloggers and critics alike. From making ice cream at his uncle’s gelateria at the age of nine to working at London’s prestigious Dorchester Hotel and on the pastry sections at Hakkasan and Yautcha, Mazzei has led a varied career that has straddled Rome, Edinburgh, London, Bangkok (where he opened an Italian restaurant at the Royal Sporting Club) and Calabria.

He opened L'Anima in 2008, which has since become one of the leading lights of London’s collection of Italian restaurants - “Many lay claim to being number one Italian restaurant, but Francesco Mazzei’s L'Amina has the edge” (The Observer, 2013). Signature dishes at L'Anima - such as Charcoal scallops with n'duja and salsa verde and Spit roast leg of lamb with cannellini beans and black cabbage - offer prime examples of a style that marries rustic Calabrian flavours with Modern European precision.

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