The first time I ever tasted a bite of Luciano Monosilio’s carbonara, I knew I could never have my favorite dish anywhere else. My mind was blown: how did he cook the guanciale? What kind of eggs did he use? Where did he get his pasta? I immediately avowed to stop eating carbonara at just anywhere, only allowing myself my favorite dish if Luciano made it or it was recognized as just as amazing somewhere else. That year, I only ate carbonara four times.
Luciano is Italy’s reigning King of Carbonara, and I am pretty happy to have put him on the map. From Albano Laziale to Michelin starred chef, Luciano’s culinary journey has brought him to Rome, elevating carbonara and reviving it as a staple. Reared in cooking from a young age, he followed cookbooks and TV shows to familiarize himself with traditional Italian recipes. With a hunger for new flavors, Luciano started in Rome at Roscioli, ventured to Capetown, South Africa and then returned to home to join forces with Alessandro Pipero for Pipero, earning the restaurant a Michelin star at the age of 27, the youngest in Italy.
“When you think of traditional food, you don’t have to think of poor food, or cheap. . . you can pay carbonara 30 euro, but if you use best guanciale, eggs, pasta, black, that is why the plate can be more expensive.”
His culinary focus has always been on quality- using simple but top-notch ingredients to bring out different flavors as well as expand, evolve and enhance traditional recipes. It’s all about relationships with producers, sourcing the very best ingredients- pasteurized free-range eggs, pecorino romano and parmesan cheese blends set his carbonara apart from the rest. in just a few years, Luciano put my favorite dish, carbonara, in the center of the table and in conversation all over Italy. And then he decided to step out of the box and literally turn the tables by going solo with his eponymous Luciano Cucina, a new gen trattoria subtly spreading the culinary renaissance all over Italy.
Piazza del Teatro di Pompeo, 18 by Campo de’ Fiori. Phone: 06 5153 1465
MORE FROM THIS EPISODE
Want to hear Luciano tell all on what makes Carbonara the very best comfort food in the world? Grab a fork, press play on the player above and catch the conversation[00:40] Introducing the episode guest
[01:44] Getting to know Luciano Monosilio
[05:27] How did Luciano get into the kitchen?
[08:56] How the career journey for Luciano started
[14:27] Moving to South Africa
[15:41] Find out why Luciano moved back to Italy
[18:38] What makes Luciano’s Carbonara unique?
[25:29] Luciano’s restaurant
[34:40] Luciano’s business expansion plans
[36:15] The ideal dinner for Luciano