With a one-way ticket to Belgium in his hand Marco Franceschetti, the 27 year-old Tuscan chef, has just said goobye to London to embrace a new exciting adventure.
After working for different Michelin starred restaurants, Marco takes stock of his last two years in London, treasuring of his mentors’ advices and dreaming of his own restaurant in Maremma, his native land.
When did you discover your passion for cooking?
I think this passion has always been with me, but it was waiting for the right moment to come out. My parents have an agriturismo (the Italian farmhouse for rural holidays) in the area of Saturnia and I used to cook for them since I was a child.
But you have attended Florence University of Engineering for a while…
I did not know what to do back then, so I decided to leave my studies and to make an experience abroad. In the summer of 2010 I moved with my girlfriend to Scotland, looking for an ‘epiphany’ and I’ve started, as many Italians in the UK, working in a hotel near Glasgow.
At the beginning my tasks were very simple, but I did not mind it and once back to Italy I said to myself that this was my way.
If the first experience in the UK helped you to open your eyes, however, it’s in Italy that you’ve learned the trade, right?
Yes, I attended a cooking class in Vinovo, near Turin; that was for me the first step towards the real kitchen’s world. Then I started one of the best experience in my life, both professionally and personally. I worked in the two-Michelin starred restaurant Da Caino in the province of Grosseto, with one of the best Italian chef, Valeria Piccini. After two years I moved to Senigallia, in the Adriatic coast, working for the chef Mario Uliassi.
What those experiences left?
With Valeria I have learned the respect for raw materials and the way to enhance them balancing tradition and new techniques. She was able to teach me how to improve all aspects of each product. In Maremma we do not waste anything!
With Chef Uliassi, instead, I’ve learned to manage fish dishes from one of the greatest experts.
Finally you decided to move back to London. What was your experience here?
My apprenticeship for Italian restaurants helped me to get a job for the two-Michelin starred restaurant La Gavroche in Mayfair. It was a great experience even if it was short. I’ve paid the price of not fully know the language, and for the first time it was a defeat for a proud person like me. Fortunately, I’ve quickly found another place in the most romantic restaurant of UK, Clos Maggiore in Covent Garden. Chef Marcelin was immediately able to give me the motivation that I needed.
Belgium is your next destination. How much the experience in London has opened your horizons?
London has definitely opened my mind, thanks to the multicultural environment. I had the opportunity to work with colleagues from all over the world and this was a great way to improve myself. I feel more confident about starting a new adventure and I can’t wait to see where life will bring me. But at the end I hope one day to come back to Tuscany and open my own business.
Who would you like to cook for?
I hope I’ll cook for my children one day. I hope I’ll be able to make them appreciate all the beauty of the food, teaching to the next generation that eating is not just a need, it is a great pleasure.