Strega Restaurant: A guy from Sannio and a guy from Nola in Branford to chase the American dream in the kitchen
Translation in English at the bottom!!!
Strega Restaurant: un sannita ed un nolano a Branford per inseguire, in cucina, il sogno americano
I wanted to translate this article because it was so good about the 2 guys at Strega! Congratulations Danilo and Marco.
Strega Restaurant: a guy from Sannio and a guy from Nola in Branford to chase the American dream in the kitchen
BRANFORD – From Nola, a town in Province of Naples to Branford, Connecticut to pursue the American dream … or the dream of Italian cuisine being the leader in the world.
This is the dream of Marco Giugliano, a young and promising chef from Campania, recently awarded by the Gambero Rosso as best Italian restaurant in America. It is a very special story that goes right to the heart.
Marco started as little more than a boy working as a pastry chef at one of the most famous pastry shops in Italy Pasquale Marigliano’s. And then quickly moved, still as a pastry chef, to the kitchens of several Italian Restaurant notables among them Quattro Passi in Nerano and Taverna Estia di Brusciano.
And yet, Giugliano was stubborn and being sous-chef of different masters of Italian cuisine didn’t suit him … he wanted to assert himself on his own.
After some stints in Mykonos and in England, last April, thanks to the chef Emanuele Mongillo, executive of the Balzi Rossi restaurant in Moscow, Marco flew to the US to meet Danilo Mongillo, Emanuele’s brother, and listen to his offer.
Danilo Mongillo, a native of Benevento, moved to America for the love of his wife became enthralled by the country at the end of a vacation. Upon meeting Marco, Danilo didn’t think twice about it and decided to entrust the keys of the “stove” of his restaurant to chart a new course for his “Strega Restaurant”.
“As my brother spoke to me about his friend Marco”, affirms an elated Danilo, ‘I didn’t think about it for a second and decided to meet him. The idea of bringing together a guy from Sannio, me, with a guy from Nola [Marco’s hometown], together in a foreign country seemed to me to be a winning formula.”
“Once Marco and I got to know each other, “continued Mongillo,” it was confirmed that my intuition was correct, and that Marco was the right person. He was the chef I was looking for to re-fashion my restaurant, which I wanted to be known as an oasis of taste and quality and unlike any classic Italian-american restaurants.
“We are Italian by blood and already in the name of my restaurant” concludes Mongillo “I wanted to pay tribute to the excellence of my region, Sannio, not only with the world-famous Strega liquor, but also to pay tribute to the ‘myth’ of the Witches of Sannio, who, it is said, were excellent cooks “.
On the same wavelength Marco’s words came together. “Dear Sergio, you are from Nola like me”, began the chef of Strega excited and happy’ “And you can well understand what it means to work at a far distance from home … in short, to not smell the flavors of our Vesuvian country-side.
“Danilo, however, immediately convinced me because in his eyes I saw the desire to do and to win.”
“We”, continues Giugliano, “do not want to do the classic Italian restaurant in Branford, but rather to give our customers a high-quality food experience and little by little we are succeeding.
“Now I don’t want to mention anything”, says the Italian Chef “however between June and July we are organizing a great culinary event here in America and we will award one of the greatest chefs in Italy”. The Chef Marco is referring to is, Chef Alfonso Iaccarino, recipient of several Michelin Stars. During the event, he will receive a special honor from the Mayor of Branford, Connecticut. I’ll talk to you about this event next time “.