I am born in Turin:
foodie from birth.
A ticket to Burkina Faso is my present for graduating from high school with honours.
It’s love at first taste, and it turns me into a spiritual and culinary son of that fascinating country.
I win the first competition of my life:
a horse race at university, thanks to Merella’s sprint. Years later, her owner will open the best gelateria in town – but that is another story.
At university, all the money I make waiting tables immediately winds up in other restaurants, where I go to eat lunch.
I graduate from medical school with distinction.
It is the start, not the end, of my studies, both in Italy and abroad. I will complete a master’s degree in healthcare management and go on to conduct research in several aspects of human nutrition, from psychoanalysis to the biochemistry of food.
As a young medical officer, I leave for Kosovo on a humanitarian mission with the Italian army.
I look after civilians and our troops, liaising with doctors from the other international armed forces. At that dramatic juncture, I come to appreciate the healing effect of dining together: I still remember the taste of spaghetti at our camp, of the burek we ate in the villages, and of the Thanksgiving turkey served at the American base.
The Aegean Sea…
I land on a small island in the Aegean and start to suffer from nostalgia: a longing for that sea, that wind, and above all, that honey.
I win the second competition of my life: MasterChef Italia.
There were 64,000 of us at the start, but only one of us can win the title. It is an adventure that will change my life, making flavour the focus.
The realization of a dream:
the first article of my column DoctorChef is published in La Stampa – one of Italy’s national newspapers, based in Turin. Dedicated to gastronomy, it still appears every Monday to talk about taste.
I collaborate with Ferrero, one of the top food producers in Italy
Ferrero asks me to help in the final stages of the development of their first low-sugar snack, made with whole wheat and rye flours. To help the managers pick the final version of this snack, I write and perform a play where the two main characters are the taste of bread and the flavour of milk.
I meet Luca Gargano and get to know natural wines:
without pesticides, without the introduction of yeasts, without sulphites – and now I will never be without them. My collaboration with www.triplea.it is born.
I publish my second book: L’apericena non esiste
(meaning: “There’s no such thing as a drinks buffet”)
Far too often pre-dinner drinks, lunches out, and restaurant dinners become an easy excuse for our bad eating habits. Yet, with just a few tricks we can keep the extra pounds off and stay fit without having to give up on eating out.
My 100th day on TV as a food expert.
I hold my 100th public presentation
A tomato grown in the garden or in a farmer’s field and a tomato grown by intensive agriculture: both their taste and their nutritional content are worlds apart