What was your best subject at school?
Mathematics – I was in love with the teacher
What was your first job?
My father owned a small furniture business in Naples, so during the summer I would assist with delivering and assembling desks, sofas and chairs. I was 15 and got paid £50 a week
What was your first job in hospitality?
Kitchen porter in an old Italian restaurant in Little Italy in New York City. I was 21 and was chasing the American dream
What do you normally have for breakfast?
Normality is not a word present in my vocabulary, but I like to wake at 6am and bake fresh chocolate croissants for my girlfriend. She loves to wake up to that smell
Which is your favourite restaurant?
I am a barbecue guy and right now it is Smokestak in Shoreditch
What is your favourite cuisine?
My mum’s traditional Neapolitan is still the best
How would you describe your desk?
Messy, and I could kill anyone who tries to put it in order
Which ingredient do you hate?
Which person in hospitality have you most admired?
My father. He taught me that cooking and serving food for others is an act of love and that love needs to be come with extreme passion. I think this is the helm of my hospitality philosophy
Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?
My grandfather, Raffaele Longobardi. By 10 I knew where I wanted to go and what to do. He inspired that
If not yourself, who would you rather have been?
Describe your ultimate nightmare?
Finding myself erroneously on the Interpol list again
Tell us a secret…
Every one of my tattoos holds a secret and a story
What irritates you most about the industry?
The use of drugs. People think that it is normal but it is not
What’s your favourite book?
The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius