During a recent visit to Santa Barbara’s beyond charming Los Olivos, read more Los Olivos here, I was told SY Kitchen was one of the most incredible restaurants and a must to experience. Sure enough, the recommendations were spot on. I went my first night during my weekend stay in Los Olivos and fell in love. Not only with the charming restaurant set in a victorian house but with the cuisine and most importantly, the Chef spearheading this killer culinary destination.
After spending a few hours at the bar eating alone, which I love to do and always leads to meeting new friends I went to say good bye to Chef Luca and his brother Sous Chef Francesco. They were both so warm, welcoming and friendly. Even on a Friday night at 9:30pm we chatted for about 15 minutes. Regardless, after getting to know Luca and falling in love with his restaurant I figured he’d be another fabulous chef to include in my Chef Interview series (read more here). Thanks again Luca for making this interview happen. Read more about Chef & Partner Luca below.
What was your fist memory of cooking and what did you cook?
I was 8 years old and made chocolate pudding.
What is a knife you can not live with out?
Any knife as long as it’s a sharp one.
What is one ingredient you can not cook with out? What is one dish you can not live with out?
Olive oil & Pizza.
What was one of the biggest mistakes you made your first year out of school?
I can’t really comment on mistakes, experience was the best teacher.
When did you know you wanted to become a chef?
When I heard I would become rich and famous, of course!
What was your first role as a chef?
It was an amazing seafood restaurant in Italy. The Chef bolted and I had to step in for a while.
Who has been the most influential mentor/chef in your career?
What gave you the idea/inspiration for the menu and and concept at SY Kitchen?
Me, without a real job for 8 months
What is your favorite after work drink?
What is your favorite local spot?
My house on a day off.
Tell us something that would surprise people about you?
I can’t. I don’t want to go back to jail.