– An Introduction to Chef Anthony
In anticipation of the next three blogs which will take you on a virtual overview of my upcoming Eleven-Day Culinary Tour Experience with Chef Anthony I thought I would take this time to tell you how The Italian Elixir came to be. From private online cooking classes to the progression of those classes being utilized as team building activities (as the world faced a pandemic) and now going back to my Cruising on Land Culinary Tours – below is a look at how the latter evolved.
My career started with many years working as a chef and starting up new restaurants – both in Italy and abroad. From there I started working as an Italian Chef on cruises – which is what I had
been doing the past seven years prior to starting The Italian Elixir near the end of 2019. I worked
first with Silversea Cruises on charge of the Terrazza Restaurant and then moved on to the Disney Cruise Line (of The Walt Disney Company) for the last six years leading the kitchen of the Italian Restaurant, Palo.
During this time, I was fortunate enough to see some of the most beautiful parts of the world and was also honored to be able to serve thousands
of guests from all over the globe– delighting them with my authentic Italian dishes. It was from this experience that I realized that I had to bring people who love good food and good wine to Italy to get the total immersion – through both cuisine and culture.
I soon found myself starting to develop this new business idea I had of creating a culinary tour of Italy. I knew it would be a perfect fit as I would still be travelling – and discovering more areas and cultures within my homeland – and I would be doing what I love to do the most – cooking. But not just cooking – sharing that cooking with my guests and getting that satisfaction of seeing how grateful they are and how much they enjoy what I create for them. That to me – creating these magical moments and memorable experiences for people – is the payoff – not the money – the realization that I can make people happy through my food. And honestly, it has been always like that.
The Italian Elixir started with the creation of the first culinary tour a 12 day / 11-night itinerary that I refer to as Cruising on Land. It’s all about discovering the best of Italy. It is seeing where and how food that comes from Italy is made by visiting the factories where it all takes place – including Parmigiano Reggiano, Traditional Balsamic of Reggio Emilia, Culatello di Zibello in the Bassa Parmense and Prosciutto di Parma. And of course – along with the tours comes the thrill of tasting of all of this fabulous food that we are blessed to have access to in our country!
And of course, I can’t tell my story without mentioning those who were instrumental on this journey of creating my culinary tours.
One important moment was meeting Rosella and her dynamic team on a Maestro Travel Experience who is the tour operator in Parma running the logistic part of this tour. It turned into a partnership and helped me develop the itinerary of the first culinary tour.
Another was while traveling through San Gimignano in Tuscany. Here I met Pierluigi of the Tenuta Torciano, an entrepreneur of the Tuscan land. This is a man who truly knows how to make
the best use of the Tuscany lands and what she brings to us! He not only produces both excellent Tuscan wine and extra virgin olive oils – he also runs several activities related to food and wine – including truffle hunting and helicopter trips. He offers the best activities in the area with an
amazing 120 different experiences. His attitude of positivity, happiness and his determination to spread joy very much influenced my journey and helped to convince me that this was a project worth taking on.
And that my friends is a quick little introduction to your Chef. Now – stay tuned for the next few blog posts that will show you all of the amazing experiences that are available to you on my labor of love – the Eleven-Day Culinary Experience with Chef Anthony!