Welcome and thanks for visiting my Website, all of the following job descriptions and headlines of the main steps in my life and career have been very significant and enriched my technical knowledge, experience and general food culture.
Start working when I was very young, randomly as a dishwasher in the outskirt of Monopoli followed by 2 years at the Restaurant “Da Renzina” in Savelletri (Brindisi), as a responsible of cutting bread out, plating cold starter, wine selection and fridges refills, slowly experiencing as the youngest waiter, then ending that job as a Professional Waiter at the age of 15 years old to make me realize that my real working passion in the future will be as a Chef, being a job that would have give me more career growing possibilities and at the same time learning new and “infinite” cooking specialties being creative as food lover. At the age of 16 after being part of the world guinness’ team, building the world biggest “Trullo” entirely made by chocolate in Alberobello (Unesco World Heritage listed), I left my region Puglia for the first time, just for a short time experience in the kitchen of the hotel**” Andrea” in Cattolica (Emilia-Romagna region, north-east Italy) just before start for the opening of the restaurant ”Donna Gina” in Polignano a Mare (suburb of Bari, Puglia region) as a cold and hot starters’ Chef de Partie, to then achieve the 3rd year’s Diploma of the Catering professional school in Castellana Grotte (suburb of Bari) as a Chef de Partie.
While I kept improving through experiences with my most loved Mediterranean kitchen I’ve been moving to the Restaurant “Pietra Antica” working with the awesome organic produce of the countryside in my own region (south east Italy), almost every week-end of the winter and spring 1999. Completing then a stage in between at the hotel***”Gemini 2” (still in Monopoli’s countryside), cooking there for the summer season 1999 plus different part-time jobs during the winter while still at school, till June 2000 as a Chef de Partie in larder, starter and pasta sections for banqueting and events services. Followed by an essential stage for my professional growing side at the hotel****”Emilia” in Ancona (Marche region, east Italy), with a first big look at the international and regional Italian food, once again with the freshest produce of that area. The following year, during the summer’s school break and after achieved the 5th year’s Diploma of the professional catering school with 82/100 points, I’ve been very lucky to work under the great Head Chef Vincenzo Console for 2 years in this Hot and amazing kitchen, adapted in real natural caves at the Hotel****”Grotta Palazzese” in Polignano a mare as a chef tournant in one of the most acclaimed Restaurant of South-Italy at that time.
I left my country for the first time moving to Switzerland, St.moritz as a Head Chef at the Restaurant “Musella”, cooking Mediterranean for a good couple of years, also registering us on a couple of Switzerland guides, completing a mother-tongue German language course as well. Coming back to Italy I‘ve been working for the International company Accor at the Hotel ****”Mercure” in Campogalliano (suburb of Modena,region Emilia-Romagna) with excellent local produce. After i enter the luxurious kitchen as a Chef de partie at the main Courses and Chef demi-Saucer at the Hotel *****L”Excelsior Palace”in Rapallo (suburb of Genova, region Liguria) located the famous Portofino for almost a year. Then, back to Switzerland, just outside St.Moritz, this time as a Head Chef for a winter season at the Old Restaurant “Walther”, so moving in the other side of the beautiful Switzerland, in the Swiss French region called Valais, in Crans-Montana working as a Chef Entremetier at the hotel*****”Grand hotel du Golf” and the hotel*****”Royal”. First contact with the French food, followed by working at the brand new and innovative Restaurant-Bar-Pub “Le Plaza”, a 2 floor stunning place owned by Mr Sebastian Bonvin, with a good understanding of the French language as well.
After those experiences i moved to the Uk, starting as a Head Chef and F&B Manager at the hotel***”Ibis”, part of the group Accor, located in Rugby, Warwickshire, in the centre of England for about 8 months and moving then to Exeter, Devonshire, south-west, as a Chef Manager at the satellite restaurant of the Hotel****”Thistle” with a French and British food based cooking. Completing also 2 college English courses gave me a good knowledge of the language, so I could leave to get to work on the Bermudian Cruise Ships ”Princess Cruises”, ending a long 8 months contract as a Responsible of the typical Italian Trattoria “Sabatini” on board of the vessel “Grand Princess”, finishing also there one more English course specialized on first aid, emergency and safety on board, essential for that job having responsibility on other 7 people.
Once came back to Europe, after long trips around the Caribbean Islands, Mexico, coasts of Brasil and Africa, I’ve been decided to restart working in my region Puglia teaching cooking lessons of Mediterranean specialties for foreigners at the hotel *****L”Masseria Torre Coccaro” countryside of Brindisi, 15 km from my hometown and at the same time working as part-time at the Hotel ****“Grotta Palazzese” in Polignano a mare as an added Sous-Chef. Going back to UK at the end of the 2009, in London City working before as a sous-Chef at the Hotel ****”Durrants”, between Oxford Circus and Regents Park, then in Chelsea, near Knightsbridge in one of the most famous English Restaurants, the 3 Michelin Stars “The Gordon Ramsay Restaurant” as a Pastry chef training, for more then 6 months, before moving back to Italy for the opening of the Restaurant in the suburbs of Siena, (Tuscany region, West Italy) at the Relais & Chateaux” Borgo Santo Pietro”.
After that, I left to Australia, having some good experience working around the City of Sydney, consulting for few restaurants , working for a catering company on yachts, offices and Tv series Master Chef Australia. Then working as a full-time Sous-Chef for the opening of the ‘Boilerhouse’ Restaurant in the Q-Station complex, near the National Park in Manly Beach followed by working for more than a year at the Italian Restaurant in Caloundra, Qld , ‘Domenico’s on Kings’ while having some part time jobs at the Italian Restaurant ‘Bella Venezia’ and “Bellissimo”, then as a responsible in a Pastry-Bakery shop for about 2 years still on the Sunshine coast, North of Brisbane, called “The French Bakery”.
Back to my own town and starting a life changing job position with Southern Visions Travel, an American company operating in Puglia, as an Executive Chef, F & B Manager, culinary and cultural tour guide for about 2 years giving me the opportunity of hosting famous Worldwide Chefs in my land as a private guide organizing cooking classes and tours for foreigners.
Recently i moved to California, in the Bay area where i’m settling down looking after my wife and my 2 daughters, always ready to tempt your tastebuds and increase your cooking skills with all my knowledge and amazing passion for good food.
Thanks for your precious time and attention and please, enjoy cooking at all times.
Chef Rocco Cartia