Zafferano & Co. Friends: Paolo Casagranda
Paolo Casagranda was born in Borgo Valsugana, a little town in the Trentino Alto Aldige region. Casagranda fell in love with the hospitality industry at a tender age. His mother was the private chef for the De Gaspari family, a respected family of Italy. She took Paolo with her to the De Gaspari Kitchen. From the very beginning of life his love of his mother was entwined with food, cooking and the culture of the kitchen.
To formalize his passion for the industry he trained in culinary school to further his knowledge.
Soon after due to Paolo’s reputation, Restaurateur Enrico Proietti requested the young 22 year old chef’s services in New York as sous chef for Ciao Bella. The kitchen was made up of Paolo and 5 other chefs from Italy. The success of this model propelled Paolo to open Mosaico for Proietti.
Casagranda later had the opportunity to expand his knowledge at a restaurant of sublime food, Toscana. He went on to broaden the breadth of his knowledge by assisting in the opening of Villa Medici in Atlantic City where he lead the culture of the restaurant as the only Italian in a kitchen of 150 cooks.
In 1992 at the age of 30 Casagranda returned to New York as head chef of Mezzaluna. He found his calling in an environment where he was able to use only Italian and authentic products. He went on to become a part owner in an environment where he, to this day, develops authentic and beautiful culinary creations.
Chef Paolo comes from the old school of cooking. His belief is that every product must have the proper origin. Not only should the products be prepared by chef, they must also be authentic ingredients. Bottarga from Sardinia must be just that , etc. For instance, in the new industry you buy cuts of meat already prepared. In the style of cooking Paolo comes from each chef must be able to prepare food from product to table. For instance, to obtain cuts of meat you must be able to butcher a cow and use each part. Each bone, cut and organ is used. From the bones for brasato and demi glace to the brain for fritelle etc... This dedication and care for the production of each plate from origin to experience shown by Casagranda is unsurpassed.
Company - Restaurant: Mezzaluna Associates
Location: New York New York