Tommaso De Simone
Tommaso De Simone is the 27-year-old chef of Lo Scoglio, the beloved family-run restaurant on the Amalfi Coast famous for its respect for pure ingredients from the surrounding land and sea. Tommaso’s great culinary inheritance are the recipes of his grandmother Antonietta, the original cook at Lo Scoglio, who forged the restaurant’s personality and identity, serving traditional cuisine made from zero-kilometer products. At the age of 15, when he already had a strong affinity for the kitchen, he enrolled in the Serramazzono Hotel and Restaurant school in Modena, where he studied for three years. After graduating with honors, he worked at Dal Pasticcino and Antica Osteria del Teatro, but the experience that changed his life was learning refined fine-dining techniques at Dal Pescatore under Nadia Santini, a starred chef and a woman of great humility and determination. It was thus the women in his life who defined and formed Tommaso’s approach to his cooking: From his grandmother, he learned tradition and authenticity; from Nadia, modesty, technique, and heart. It was critical for Tommaso to spend time cooking Northern Italian cuisines, which is so different from that of his native Campania — the classic preparations of sauces, and the rigorous techniques of pastas and refined pastry. Infused with this rich gastronomic patrimony, he returned to cook at Lo Scoglio at 22, fully taking over the kitchen reins as executive chef two years later. In the years since, when not cooking for the legions of fans who flock to Lo Scoglio from near and far, he has traveled the globe, most notably to Japan, to represent the purity and integrity of la cucina italiana around the world.