Chef Carlo Raciti | Owner & Head Chef, Almotti Italian Delicacies
As a young boy in Viagrande, a Sicilian village not far from the smoking peak of Mount Etna, Chef Carlo would read recipes from loose pages of an old family cookbook, dreaming of his future as a pastry chef and spending most of his time at the family bakery, Panificio Raciti in Acireale, Sicily learning from his uncle Zio Tanino Raciti and his cousin Marcelo Raciti. His parents pushed him to make another career choice, so he graduated with a Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism from the Instituto Albergiero in Sicily. After working 10 years in the field, he knew he had to follow his heart and ultimately left to become a pastry chef.
On a weekend trip to Miami, Chef Carlo met the love of his life, Rebecca, and with 500 euros in his pocket, made the choice to propose and move to Miami to start a family. When Carlo welcomed his first son Mario Carlo, he decided to take off a year and move to his family’s house in Sicily to raise their son and experience firsthand Italian customs and life. It was a time for him and his family to dream about their future.
While in Sicily, Chef Carlo went back to his roots and focused on his cooking skills, completing his certification in Pastry Chef at Chef Academy at Terni, Italy. He trained with Pastry Chef Stefano Fittuccia at his bakery Pasticceria Fittuccia, Master Pastry Chef Guiseppe Giangreco at Pasticceria Quaranta in Catania, Italy, and went on to train with other various bakers like Giovanni Gandino, Master Pastry Chef Roberto Lestani and Carmelo Recupero.
One night, over a bottle of pinot noir, Chef Carlo and his wife dreamed up a bakery called Almotti, a combination of “almond” and “biscotti” – where they would sell classic Italian cookies in the states. Carlo and Rebecca quickly returned to Miami determined to follow their dream of sharing Carlo’s Sicilian baked goods with all. He continued training in gluten free baked goods to bring a unique twist to the Sicilian bakery and to provide the Celiac and gluten intolerant community with Sicilian handcrafted treats.
Almotti was established in 2015 and is now run from a 100% gluten free dedicated facility. While Chef Carlo started in the local farmers market circuit, Almotti cookies quickly sold out and became extremely in demand. From there Almotti expanded to local food stores like Milam’s Markets and more, and is now available nation-wide via almotti.com