Gino D’Acampo

I grew up in Naples in Southern Italy and inherited my love of cooking from my nonno Giovanni (grandfather) who was a head chef. If I close my eyes, I can still see him rolling gnocchi into shapes with me helping him serve it to our huge family. He taught me many things when I was growing up like to always push myself to be the best I can be, and to say "yes" to whatever life brings my way. In fact, the more impossible something seems to be, the more likely I am to do it! He was a huge influence. Our family name `D'Acampo' means `of the field' and I learned early on that the simple things in life ~ fresh air, food, family, love ~ are the best. We were poor, but I was ambitious, and by the time I was fifteen years old, I knew cooking was my life's passion. I got myself into the Luigi de Medici Catering College where the training was very traditional but got me into good habits. By the time I had finished there, I was ready for an adventure so I traveled all over Europe employed in different kitchens, learning about life and love. I ended up working for the `Italian Stallion' himself as Head Chef at Sylvester Stallone's Mambo King restaurant in Marbella. While I was in Spain, I met and fell in love with my beautiful English wife and moved with her to London in 1995. Some of my family told me I was crazy to leave Italy and that I would come home crying within a few months. How wrong they were!

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