Interview with Danilo Cortellini (@danilocortellini)

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path? 

I’ve always wanted to be a chef, to be more precise I’ve always wanted to be around food but I did not know what that would mean in real life. I was about 10 or 11 and one days I saw a TV advert with a chef cooking with some special ingredients. I did not pay attention to the recipe at all but I was captured by the immaculate white jacket that he had and the calming but strong energy he seemed to emanate. Truth be told, I grew up in a stereotypical Italian family, with my Grandma making fresh pasta and mum baking cakes all the time, and I couldn’t be luckier. I was always around food and mealtimes were synonymous with sharing, of bringing people together. And those are the values I treasure most to this day.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this? 

Taking part in Masterchef the professional was an interesting one. Though competition, really nerve-racking… so much so that you forget to be in prime time television!! I was the only Italian in the competition and I must admit that it played on my favour to use my background as a constant source of delicious ideas. I was really pushed to my limits but in hindsight the personal growth was remarkable. And I did make it to the finals. 🙂

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? 

Do things at your own pace and focus on what would really make you happy but surround yourself with people that encourage you to be the best version of yourself. We all need a little push once in a while.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story? 

There are many people I am grateful towards to. My family and my strong small team before anyone else. Thanks to my position at the Italian Embassy in London I’ve had the opportunity to meet brilliant people from every walk of life, actors, musicians, directors, artist and politics, you name it, I could not have asked for more. If I have to name 1 person that I met along the way that I cherish particularly it must be the late Antonio Carluccio, he was the godfather of the Italian cuisine in the UK and in the world. Antonio very much reminded me of my grandfather, and the approach he had towards food and people was very natural and comforting, a true master.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? 

I can proudly say that I’ve supported many charities along the way, especially during the COVID 19 crisis. Helping to raise fund is always keys but this time was different, we everything stopped we have put our own team at a good use and we cooked for members of communities in London that were in need for over 3 months helping to distribute thousands of nutritious Italian meals across the city. 🙂

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life? 

I like to think that I act with kindness and respect, even online, and push towards content that aims to elevate others rather than myself only all the time. I’ve had my share of difficult years in the past, I am not going to lie even if I don’t talk about it, being positive instead of acting passive-aggressive all the time can really impact others people lives. A smile or kind word could go a long way!

How can our readers follow you on social media? 

Instagram at @danilocortellini

Twitter @Danilo_chefUK

Facebook @danilocortellini.chef

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