In our opinion, one of the best part of villa travel is the luxury of having an in-villa chef. Having a native Italian chef prepare authentic cuisine, catered to your specific needs and tastes, provides memorable experiences as well as the convenience of knowing your meals are in capable hands. This affords you the chance you to unwind after a day of exploring and basking in your surroundings. I recently caught up with Villa di Torno’s chef Sergio.

Sergio’s dishes are artfully crafted reflecting the colors, flavors and spirit of Italy. Sergio has been cooking for more than 25 years. His interest began in the late 1970s while watching his mother, who he deems ‘a pioneer of home catering.’ “Observing her in the kitchen planted a seed of curiosity which grew my interest in the culinary arts,” says Sergio.

Today, Sergio produces delicious meals that use locally-sourced, in-season ingredients for our villa guests. Fresh, handmade pastas, regional wine pairings, locally raised meat and just-picked produce create flavors that are uniquely Italian. Sergio’s authentic recipes passed down from generation to generation allow for an unforgettable meal.

Cold cuts for an outdoor buffet lunch.

With an in-villa chef, you have the freedom to personalize everything from the menu to the backdrop of your meal. Every detail can be catered to your tastes: Perhaps your party is in the mood for an elegant meal in the dining room or maybe you’d prefer a casual starlit meal on the terrace? Either way, your chef can arrange it.

Lamb leg, candy onion, rosemary and orange reduction.

Sergio reflected that his guests enjoy “having the comfort of home, tasting a different way of cooking and appreciating Italy’s unique gastronomy.” You’ll love the uniquely intimate dining experience with your closest friends and family without the stress of rushing for a reservation or after-meal cleanup.

Swordfish filled with artichoke, basil sauce and vanille.

Sergio’s services to villa guests go beyond just providing them with unforgettable dining experiences. ‘I provide for them everything they are to eat for breakfast, ‘aperitivi’ and relaxing time,’ says Sergio.

Spaghetti with anchovies, pine nuts and tomato bread.

Sergio’s favorite dishes to cook are those that do not require more than 10 minutes of cooking. However, his personal favorite is any kind of “risotto,” which needs a longer time and careful cooking. Sergio explains that there is no one meal that pleases every one of his guests. Instead, he understands that every season and every guest is unique. It’s not as simple as “everyone loves lasagne alla bolognese or spaghetti alla carbonara.”  That’s why Sergio collaborates with each guest to plan menus and meals that are designed to delight.

Ingredient prep for Cannoli Siciliani.

And finally, how does he know if the guests enjoyed the experience? ‘I think the passion, knowledge and a bit of madness I put into my dishes rarely leave room for the guest to have a bad experience.’

Buon appetito!


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