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Tasting Series: A Taste of Italy
November 16 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
The evening will begin with two brief talks on the Mediterranean diet, tracing its origins from the Etruscans through the Roman Empire to the 21st century. Typical ingredients and their health benefits will also be highlighted. These engaging discussions will be followed by a live cooking demonstration by Italian Michelin-starred chef Stefano Masanti of “Il Cantinone” restaurant, and a reception featuring Italian specialties and wines.
Michelin-star chef Stefano Masanti is the founder and visionary of one of northern Italy’s most beloved restaurants, Il Cantinone. Stefano is the Executive Chef and his accomplished wife, Raffaella, a professional sommelier, greets guests in the restaurant located in the small ski-village of Madesimo, in the Italian Alps. Stefano and Raffaella spend their off-season at V. Sattui, first founded by Vittorio Sattui in 1885 and re-established in 1976 by Vittorio’s great-grandson Dario, one of Napa Valley’s most historic wineries, extending their warm hospitality and creating culinary magic for group events and weddings at the winery. Stefano’s bresaola was just awarded in 2019 “Best Bresaola” in all of Italy! Known for his infectious smile, sharp wit, strong work ethic, and his culinary prowess, Masanti has forged an adventurous career that has spanned both Europe and the U.S.
Born in Milan in 1970, Stefano Masanti grew up in the Lombardian resort town of Madesimo, where he recalls his first day in the kitchen, at just 5 years old, helping his grandfather churn vanilla gelato for the family business, Hotel Andossi. He received his B.A. degree in hospitality at the Hotel Institute Crotto Caurga Chiavenna, followed by three years at the University of Milan, where he majored in public relations. Additional professional development includes time in France’s Ecole Lenotre, Alain Ducasse’s culinary school, Ducasse Education, and the culinary institute in Brescia, Italy.
Chef Masanti is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals; he has helped launch a number of restaurants and hotels in Poland; and for years he successfully managed Il Cantinone, the highly acclaimed, Michelin-star restaurant adjacent to his family’s hotel in Madesimo. An accomplished master of charcuterie, Masanti was named “Craftsman of the Year” in all of Italy by the 2009 Identità Golose for best Valchiavenna bresaola. One of the earliest proponents of the Slow Food movement, Chef Masanti believes in the value of preserving and protecting regional food traditions from around the world.