How Executive Chef Simone Caponnetto Celebrates Tuscan Culture at Locale Firenze
Executive Chef Simone Caponnetto's culinary style is deeply influenced by his profound admiration for Tuscan culture.
Interestingly, his passion for cooking didn't emerge until later in life. Originally, his heart belonged to poetry and literature. However, while seeking to support his initial interests, he ventured into the restaurant industry, gaining experience at various establishments, including The Waterside Inn. Ultimately, he found his true calling in the world of cuisine and travel.
Now, Caponnetto writes his own narrative in culinary with herbs and spices as the Executive Chef of Locale Firenze. At the centre of Florence, the restaurant is nestled in the heritage Concini Palace that dates back to the 13th century. Caponnetto joined the establishment in September 2021 and brought his roots and passion to the storytelling of the Florence building. Join us as we savour the essence of Locale Firenze through the eyes of Chef Simone Caponnetto.
1. Can you describe what Tuscan cuisine means to you?
Tuscan cuisine is home to me. I realised how important Tuscany (and its cuisine) was for me when I was travelling around the world and I was missing my grandmother’s tomato sauce. When I moved back, I started cooking again with her, and even if she is 93 now, she still puts her heart and soul into cooking and she has thought me a lot, especially the simplest recipes.
2. How would you describe your path into becoming a chef?
I started really young, I didn’t even know if this was what I really wanted to do. After culinary school, driven by my desire to explore the world, I left Florence to travel and worked at some of the best restaurants in the world.
3. Who or what experience has influenced you the most in your culinary career?
There isn’t just one restaurant that influenced me, but all of the good and experiences forged me into the chef I am today. I look up at chefs like Michel Roux and Andoni Luiz, with whom I had the pleasure to work, and realise how much I’ve taken and learnt from them.
"Locale Firenze is the opportunity to be what I always wanted, express myself, my cuisine and show who I want to become when I grow up."
- Chef Simone Caponnetto
4. What is Ristorante Locale Firenze to you?
Locale Firenze gives me the opportunity to be who I always wantedto be, to express myself, my cuisine and show who I want to become when I grow up.
"Together with the cuisine, the building where we are located, its historical walls, and our bar make an experience at Locale unforgettable." - Chef Simone Caponnetto
5. What do you hope to bring to Italian cuisine, and Florence, that is uniquely you or Locale Firenze?
I believe that what we are doing at Locale is quite unique (and I don’t want to sound cocky), we are putting together the fantastic produce that this region has to offer with the techniques, flavours and global influencers that I absorbed during my years abroad. My brigade is also key to this process, each one of them brings something to the kitchen. They come from all over the world, and they all have a story to tell. Together with the cuisine, the building where we are located, its historical walls, and our bar - these all make an experience at Locale unforgettable.
6. Can you describe the dining scene at Ristorante Locale Firenze?
We want people to have fun, to eat with all their senses, and to connect with our food in many different levels. The service is professional and attentive but laid back. We want our guests to be comfortable and cherish this experience forever.
All imagery is provided by Lotus International.