We recently caught up with Chef Giancarlo Ferrara of Arcodoro. We visited with this native of Salerno, Italy to discuss his origins and theories for success as a chef and how he ended up in Houston.
Eating Our Words: How did you get into cooking?
Ferrara: Growing up, everybody in my family had to help in the kitchen. I was one of seven children, so it took a lot of work to prepare meals for the whole family. Actually, to this day, my brothers and I are all in the food industry.
EOW: That's great. How are your brothers involved in the food industry?
Ferrara: One of them is in agriculture and the other two are continuing our family's cheese-making business. We are the third-generation of cheese makers.
EOW: What's the name of the company and what cheese do they specialize in?
Ferrara: The company's name is Fratelli Ferrara Caseificio, and they make mozzarella di bufala [buffalo mozzarella] and pecorino [a hard Italian cheese made of sheep's milk]. As you see, we all made our careers in food because of our passion for food.
EOW: How has passion for food helped further your career as a chef?
Ferrara: Passion is very important for success but it's not everything. You also need talent to succeed. Someone can love watching and playing soccer but if he doesn't have the talent, he will never be great. Growing up, I knew I had the passion and some talent, so I went to culinary school when I was 15 years old to improve my skills. After school, I moved to Bassano del Grappa for 10 years to build my reputation. Then I worked at restaurants in Germany, France, and Ireland before coming to the United States. Tomorrow we ask Chef Ferrara more about his career as a chef, and what his favorite dishes at Arcodoro are.