Culinary Tours Italy: Interview with Alfonso Iaccarino of Don Alfonso 1890

May 21, 2021  |  By Peg Kern
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What could be more romantic than one of our culinary tours in Italy staying in a deluxe Relais & Chateaux hotel, cooking at one of Italy’s most famous Michelin-star restaurants, and exploring the Amalfi Coast? Our cooking vacation with Alfonso Iaccarino, of Ristorante Don Alfonso 1890, is the ultimate in food, wine, and all that is Italy! We asked Chef Alfonso to share a bit of his story with us: what made him the chef he is today, and what he loves most about Italian cuisine. His answers are as charming and genuine as the man himself!

Chef Alfsonso Iaccarino in his kitchen
What is your first memory of cooking?

When I was a child the kitchen was off limits. I cannot knead because I messed everything up. So my young experiences in the family hotel kitchen were in secret.

Where or from whom did you learn about cooking?

My mother and my grandfather, in their kitchen.

What is your favorite ingredient or food to cook with?

Between my favorite ingredients there are tomatoes, pasta, extra virgin olive oil, and vegetables.

What’s your favorite dish?

Spaghetti Don Alfonso style is my favorite dish.

Tomatoes on Chef Alfonso's farm
What is the best piece of advice you would give someone just starting to cook?

Never forget that with the food one feeds own children, family, the beloved persons, so it is important the quality because a healthy product is the base of a good health. I suggest to use organic and seasonal ingredients. Never strawberries or peppers in December! I also suggest to cook legumes twice in a week at least.

Have any funny or embarrassing stories you would like to share?

When I was 13 I wanted to cook a chocolate souffle to offer to Livia (now my wife). I tried to do it accurately but, every time I took it out of the oven regularly it collapsed …just like her dreams!

Why do you like teaching cooking classes?

I love to give values of quality, safeguard and respect of organic raw materials, because they are the food of the life.

Chef Alfsonso Iaccarino on his farm
What’s unique about the food from your region?

Tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, vegetables in general. Thanks to Mount Vesuvius we have a subsoil rich in minerals that you find then in the produce.

Anything else you’d like to share with clients of The The International Kitchen?

I would like to share the experience to collect fruits and vegetables in my organic farm “Le Peracciole” and cook them together during the cooking classes.

Learn more about our cooking vacation at Don Alfonso on our website, read about cooking classes at Don Alfonso in the blog, or give us a call!

Learn more about all of our Italian cooking vacations.

By Peg Kern

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