Antonino Cannavacciuolo was born in Vico Equense on 16th April 1975 and always knew his destiny would lead him to a life in the kitchen. Among his first memories was waking up to the wonderful smells coming from the pasta sauce his grandmother had been preparing lovingly, for hours, to delight the whole family at Sunday lunch.
His father was a true artist of food decoration and professor at the Vico Equense hotel and catering school where Antonino studied and then took his final exams before throwing himself wholeheartedly into a number of professional experiences around the Naples province, then leaving his smiling, sunny Mediterranean homeland to go north towards new adventures in Piedmont. Then came periods of learning and training under famous French chefs of three Michelin star fame in the Alsace region. His early career is characteristically full of great new acquaintances, varied culture, inspiration and great satisfaction.
With Cinzia Primatesta, who will become his wife, in 1999 he undertook the management of Villa Crespi, a gorgeous historical villa on Lake Orta which is both a hotel with 14 rooms and suites and restaurant with 50 covers.
The first awards were soon to come in and indeed his first Michelin star, the three hats in the Italian Espresso Restaurant Guide and three forks in the Italian Gambero Rosso Guide arrived in 2003, his second Michelin star in 2006. More would follow including the Foodie Top 100 Restaurants Europe in 2013, far too many to name, each a source of pride and inspiration to reach ever greater heights in the fascinating world of hospitality and fine cuisine.
In the meantime wedding bells ring for Antonino and Cinzia and they start a family with two children soon coming along. Antonino thus forges deep ties with his adopted land, not just those expressed in his innovative and creative cooking which marries south and north but in his roots and in his heart.
Active participation in many events over the course of the years ensure that he becomes one of Italy’s best known and best loved chefs not only because of his authoritative style of delivery but thanks also to great personality and undeniable charisma.
His first TV appearances reveal superb communicative ability and great on-camera presence and so in 2013 he films the first Sky series of the Italian version of Kitchen Nightmares where, having personally experienced all the learning curves, putting knowledge into practice and then achieving success, he discovers he has a new mission: helping failing restaurateurs and their staff to regain a sense of organization, complicity and passion, resuscitating their limping businesses and learning how to work together in order to reach new goals and new success.
And once again in 2013, Antonino’s first book of recipes published by Mondadori, whose title loosely translates into “I’m the boss in the Kitchen” and a page in the superb calendar produced each year by Lavazza.
The following year his second book appears, once again published by Mondadori :“So You Want to Be a Chef too”, an autobiographical work that offers some basic knowledge to those who wish to enter the business.
In 2015, the invitation to join the trio on the jury of Masterchef and so, Antonino will be the fourth judge in Masterchef 5. He is also Ambassador to Expo 2015 using lemons from his homeland, Sorrento.
His now well known and appreciated, innate altruism and love for people teaches others to do what he has learned to do well himself, at the same time discovering new, satisfying successes as a Celebrity Chef serving the hospitality business and most of all the people working in it.
The latest news in 2015 is the upcoming opening of a new place in Novara, a coffee bar-bistro that will remain open from early morning to late evening with the usual high quality of all Chef Cannavacciuolo’s achievements, but at a truly affordable price.