Your Life A to Z Recipe: Friday May 9th, 2014: Pan Seared Salmon with Cauliflower Steak and Olive Pistou

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Born in Florence, Italy, and inspired by his family's love for food and his native land, Gabriele Bertaccini discovered his passion for cooking as a young boy. At the age of thirteen, Gabriele landed his first job at a local restaurant where he washed dishes and pans. Not too long after that, he bought a suitcase of knives and started cooking. He has never stopped ever since.

Gabriele attended a five year program at the prestigious Instituto Professionale Buontalenti per Servizi Alberghieri in Florence, Italy, where he graduated in regional, Italian cuisine with a specialization in Tuscan cooking as well as additional culinary courses including Food and Beverage management. He spent months practicing and learning at the best local restaurants Italy has to offer, often working for free.

Surrounded by olive groves, cypress trees and the riches of the Arno valley, Gabriele's cooking developed into what is now his philosophy:

Pristine ingredients, simple execution, and great passion became Chef Bertaccini's philosophy and way to continue the traditions of his beautiful country, Italy.

Gabriele worked for numerous regional restaurants including internationally renowned and awarded 'Sabatini', one of Italy's oldest fine dining restaurants, as well as five stars hotels such as Grand Hotel Baglioni' and 'Hotel Astoria'. He also had the pleasure of privately assisting the Frescobaldi family and later worked as their sous chef at the newly opened 'Frescobaldi Food & Wine Bar'. After a few years, his passion brought him to Paris where he lived for 14 months while working as a line cook and sharpening his skills. Back in Florence, he organized food events for several restaurant and was first named Chef at 'Conquinarius', a small boutique restaurant in the heart of the city just steps away from the Duomo of Brunelleschi. 

Chef Bertaccini currently travels between Phoenix, Arizona, Los Ageles, California and Florence, Italy, where he is the Founder of iL TOCCO, a private dining experience and culinary events company.

He also organizes and directs CULINARY MISCHiEF, Arizona's first invitation-only underground roving event featuring 30 guests, six course dinner and six paired wines and he now holds these regularly in Phoenix, L..A. and N.Y.C.  He is also the official Chef and consultant for 'House of Balsamic', an Italian food company specialized in the imports of  fine and luxury food products.

Chef Bertaccini was the recipient of 'BEST OF THE VALLEY '2011 and 2012 award by luxury magazine Arizona Foothills, 'BEST OF PHOENIX' by Phoenix Magazine and regularly appears in local and national publications.

Because of his unique personality and culinary talents his entratainment and television career has also been growing securing regular segments on, local 'Your Life A to Z', Channel 3TV, as well as national TV networks..

During his career, Chef Bertaccini has been the Food Editor for 'The Arcadia News' an award winning monthly publication and currently writes for several other food magazines inc;uding national magazines such as 'Gambero Rosso' and 'La Cucina Italiana'.

Gabriele holds a double degree from Arizona State University in Business International Marketing from W.P. Carey School of Business and in Public Relations and Journalism from Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.