1. First off, quickly tell us about your background and professional experiences
After attending hotel management school, I was one of 15 students chosen from across Italy for an advanced chef training course. It was located in Trentino and we studied everything from cooking to enology and chemistry. I have always worked hard since I was young and I have been working for starred-restaurants for the last 17 years. When I was 18, I worked at Trussardi Milano with chef Andrea Berton who often took me to work events at luxurious overseas locations in Singapore, Bangkok, and Taipei. I met many renowned chefs throughout the years who instilled their love and passion for the job into me. In 2012 I won the U23 international cooking championship for Mediterranean cuisine. I was lucky enough to do a six-month apprenticeship at the three-starred restaurant Uliassi in Senigallia where, in addition to learning a lot, I was fortunate enough to work alongside the chef at an event on his mobile food truck, “Uliassi Street Good”.
With school finished and lots of work experience under my belt, I decided to put myself to the test and gain more experience abroad. I started in Australia, moved onto New Zealand, and finally ended up in Switzerland in 2017, where I managed the Kulm Country Club—an elite restaurant of the historic Kulm Hotel *****S in St. Moritz.
After once again being contacted by New Zealander entrepreneurs, I decided to start to work as a consultant for a yet-to-be-opened restaurant. This allowed me to take on different responsibilities like training the staff, designing the kitchen layout, and starting a restaurant from scratch, in addition to working as an executive chef.
2. What inspired you to open a street food business? When did the idea come to you?
After having traveled extensively abroad and having seen different systems and dynamics, I knew I wanted to return to Italy. So, I started to think both about work strategies and lifestyle. Plus, it was necessary to take a realistic look at overhead costs and think about how many people you need to run your business, including the costs during the slow season.
My desire for dynamic and varied work got me thinking and I wanted to bring together my three passions: cooking, the mountains, and cars. So, I got involved in street food! It is vital to be organized in this sector, but it’s already been very fulfilling.
3. What are the biggest challenges and difficulties that you’ve had to overcome?
Being a good chef is a solid starting point, but being a businessman requires something different. You need to look at the bigger picture and bureaucracy doesn’t help. In just a few months I threw myself into a completely new world, but fortunately you learn to be flexible and overcome difficult, high-pressure moments. As always, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
4. Can you briefly tell us about your project?
Dolomiti Street Food was founded in Val di Fiemme in the Dolomites. I’ve made use of my cultural background in this innovative project in order to create recipes and dishes using mainly local ingredients. Based on this, I create menus with natural products which get presented simply and quickly, paying close attention to flavor. In summer there are many public events thanks to the tourism industry, but whenever I am free I like to travel around and offer a street food service. I also work private events and provide a menu tailor-made to the customer’s needs while maintaining my core style. I also work in the B2B consultancy sector and provide cooking courses aimed at amateurs.
5. How is work going with the brand-new Dolomiti Street Food?
I am happy to say that it’s going really well. People like this project and during the first months of business we have gotten great feedback. We are fully booked until September based solely on word-of-mouth! The truck attracts customers thanks to its colors and vibrant graphic design.
Working on a truck might seem limiting, and it’s true you have to ration everything. However, if it is well set up, it is like a DJ mixer and VS Veicoli Speciali has definitely given us good advice.
6. A food truck managed by a mobile app is a fantastic new feature in the sector. Has the app been useful?
Yes, the app has been really useful and is constantly being updated. It is a real help for safety as you can check that everything is locked and where it should be at the end of the day. Plus, it is useful in the little things. For example, if the truck is loaded you don’t need to enter and turn off the lights. You can just do it remotely and check the fridge temperatures and the state of the vehicle.
7. This food truck’s ecological characteristics of solar panels and rechargeable batteries contribute to making it special. What has the customer reaction been like? Do they take notice of this?
The customer’s really take note of it, especially when I am on the street. It is an important and sensitive issue and most people really appreciate it. As with everything, it needs to be explained and when I work in “wild” spaces (like natural parks in the mountains), where you only hear the sounds of nature, not having a gasoline generator is really satisfying and pleasant.
It feels as if you are respecting nature and living in symbiosis with it. It’s a completely different way of working.
8. What effect does the food truck have on the customers in general?
People are really interested in the food truck. Its quality makes a strong impression on customers. Then, it’s my job to maintain and improve it. As good as the food can be, it is truly important to be able to attract customer’s attention, especially at events where there are other food trucks, and Dolomiti Street Food does not go unnoticed.
9. What are your expectations for the future? Have you set any goals?
My biggest goal is to be able to do what I do better each day by getting the most out of every resource at my disposal.
I want to grow and invest in my project to create something new and different. In the long-term I’d like to be ready for 2026, because there will be the Milan-Cortina Winter Olympics in Val di Fiemme. It’s my golden ticket! A dream come true!