The chef and his mom with their handmade pasta.
The chef and his mom with their handmade pasta.
Photo by Riki Altman

Chef Andrea Menichetti on Pizza, Tenors, and Gnudi

Friday we chatted with Vino e Olio's executive chef Andrea Menichetti and his two-Michelin Star-rated chef/mama. If you missed it, click here. We'll be awaiting your return. Promise.

So who's the most famous celebrity you've ever cooked for?

Andrea Bocelli. He's the one most internationally known. A lot [of celebrities] in Italy.

What did you serve him?


Let's talk about pizza. What makes it truly Italian?

In Italy there are three different types of pizza: thin and crispy; the Roman with a little crust; and Napoli one, which is very high.

The first one, what region is that associated with?

Everywhere, but that's not real pizza.

What type do you make here?

The Roman one, but it is very small.

Vino e Olio's elogio al pomodoro (celebration of tomato) antipasti
Vino e Olio's elogio al pomodoro (celebration of tomato) antipasti
Photo by Riki Altman

I saw that little pizza on your "tribute to tomato" dish. Now then, which of Miami's Italian restaurants would you consider authentic?

I tried almost every important Italian restaurant in Miami. Quattro is the most authentic Italian food in Miami, after me. Their kitchen is a real Italian kitchen in the United States. Nicola [Carro] helped me a lot.

They're not cooking Tuscan, though.

Piedmont. North Italy.

How is your food different from that region's?

In my opinion, [ours is] lighter. We never use butter. Only olive oil.

A family motto?
A family motto?
Photo by Riki Altman

Speaking of which, how did you come up with the name of the restaurant?

My partner thought of it. Seven years ago he opened a company that imported very rare Italian products. It was the name of the company.

Any news people should know about Vino e Olio?

We're open for lunch right now. And every Monday we do a special dinner, a regional dinner from Italy. You can find three dishes from a special region posted on our website.

You pair that area's wines with it?

Not always. Not all regions have good wine.

And which recipe will you be sharing with us?

Gnudi. It's our oldest recipe. My grandmother's. She came from Tuscany.

You heard it here, folks. Tomorrow we're getting gnudi! In the meantime, here's a nipple to tide you over.

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