Buongiorno amici:


Our new feature focuses on chefs and food artisans, who put an apron on daily, searching for the next palate to glamorize. We begin with Rosario Russo, a member of the esteemed APCI (Association of Professional Italian Chefs), based in Italy with worldwide chapters. I caught up with the chef this past week, and this is what he had to share.

Abruzzo Food + Wine Tour 2022

1) Tell the readers of Flavors + Knowledge about yourself and how/when you entered the trade.

I was born and raised in a nice neighborhood on the sea, named Bagnoli in Napoli. The fishing town also boasts the longest pier in Europe. I did start to work at a very young age in my father’s construction company, but only not to disappoint him because my real passion was the food industry. So to pursue my dream, I asked a local diner to let me watch them cooking to learn the basics, and that’s how everything started. So many talented chefs I was pleased to work with during my life in Napoli, and indeed I learned something from each of them. But my significant life changes happened in 2013 when a job offer brought my family and me here in Florida, so many differences, so many cultural changes that it took a while for me to accommodate myself in my new job dimension. But now I feel almost home.

2) What inspires you about food, and where do you seek inspiration.

I don’t see any difference between a chef and an artist. Both try to impress, surprise and delight the “customer. “But while looking at a piece of art, you have only used your eyes; the chef with his creation will let you use your three senses, looking, tasting, and smelling the food. And that’s is my biggest inspiration. Again, impress, surprise, delight.

3) In your view, what is a chef’s essentiality, role, and philosophy.

My opinion about the essence of a chef is straightforward: firstly, don’t forget your traditions and your legacy. Second, express yourself with no fears about your food creations’ criticism. Lastly, be dedicated and passionate about your job.

4) What are your favorite ingredient(s) and tool(s) in the kitchen. 

Any tools related to working on seafood, and certainly making fresh pasta.

5) Where do you see yourself in five or ten years, your projects, and aspiration.

That’s is a good question, I don’t know. But, I hope that I will cook with the same inspirations and passion as 25 years ago. My “dream “ is to begin an Authentic Italian Food Academy, who knows… maybe with my daughter’s Sofia help since she has shown the same dedication and curiosity about food, I had at her age.

Thank you, chef Rosario, for your honest input. We wish you all the best in your future projects.

Note: If you reside in Florida or travel there, look up Fresco Cucina Italiana Restaurant on 7721 Turkey Lake Road, in Orlando. Chef Rosario Russo will delight your senses, and I am sure that your experience will be as honest as his views about his life. For recipes and additional info, contact the restaurant’s website.

{Images attribution via Anna Zuccarone}

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Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Flavors and Knowledge newsletters are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect Flavors and Knowledge’s official policy or position. Our blogger’s or authors’ content is of their opinion and not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone. Any general advice posted on our blog, website, or app is only for informational purposes and, without any intentions, to replace any medical or other advice.




There is a constant, recognizable thread in Walter Potenza's career to elevate the level of Italian culinary culture in the United States. Besides his unquestionable culinary talent and his winning business perspective, Chef Walter has been a relentless educator with passion and knowledge who contributes to defeating stereotypes. His life, career, and values are a model, an example to follow, by any Italian gastronomy chef working outside Italy. A native of Mosciano Sant' Angelo in Abruzzo, Italy, is known as one of the most passionate and accomplished practitioners of traditional and historical Italian cooking in the nation. His fields of expertise include Terracotta Cookery, Historical Cookery from the Roman Empire to the Unification of Italy, the Cuisines of the Sephardim Italian Jewish Heritage, and the Mediterranean 21 Health & Wellness, with major emphasis on Diabetes, Celiac and the Cuisines of the 21 countries present in the MED basin.

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