August 1, 2011

Featured Chef: Luci Villari

Post by Sami's Kitchen

Luca is a fantastic chef, a regular food writer for Taste magazine, and currently features regularly on the Good Morning show on TV1.

How long have you been a chef?

I’ve been a chef for 17 years, but was always around a kitchen even from a young age, my parents owned a little Italian restaurant in Takapuna, Auckland.

How did you get into it?

I got into cooking watching my parents in their restaurant, my Dad was the pizza maker and mum was the chef, that’s when I became interested in food and decided to follow in their footsteps.

What sort of cuisine has influenced your cooking?

The cuisine that has influenced me the most is Italian of course, but I am trained in different cuisines also. I love food from different cultures, you never stop learning as a chef, and when you think you know it all, you learn a different type of cuisine.

What do you like about the Sami’s Kitchen range?

I like experimenting with the Sami’s kitchen range, coming up with new ideas. I’ve tried so many similar products on the market and I find Sami’s Kitchen spice blends to have more flavour. Open a packet and smell the aromatics. My favourite is the Zaatar blend, I can taste the thyme, coriander, sesame, cumin and sumac, very well balanced spice blend, great with seafood.

What is the best part of your job?

Best part of my job is seeing a smile and an empty plate after I’ve cooked someone a meal. And teaching and educating people about food.

What is your favourite dish?

I don’t have one particular dish, but any dish that someone has gone out of their way to cook for me I cherish as no one likes to cook for a chef.