Francesco Mazzei – L’Anima

Francesco Mazzei

From early childhood, Francesco could always be found in the kitchen cooking with his mother, making their own olive oil, tomato sauce, salami and bread. With the determination to buy his first Levis jeans with his own money, he started working in his uncle’s Gelateria in Calabria at the age of nine, learning to make ice cream and cakes. At 14 he met renowned Italian chef Angelo Sabetta who recognised his talent and encouraged him to pursue his dream of becoming a chef. After catering college and opening his first restaurant before going into military service, Francesco moved to Rome in 1992, where he worked a short stint at the Jolie Hotel before joining The Grand Hotel et de Roma. He moved to London in 1996 to learn English and worked at several restaurants before starting to work at his dream hotel The Dorchester.

A move back to Rome offered a position at the Michelin starred restaurant Eden Terrazza on the top floor of the Eden Hotel overlooking Rome. In 2002 Francesco was approached by the Santini family to open ‘Santini’ restaurants in both Edinburgh and Milan. Moving back to London Francesco worked with Alan Yau as Head Chef at Yau’s Italian restaurant in Marylebone, Anda; he also worked with the pastry sections of both Hakkasan and Yauatcha and then moved to Bangkok to launch an Italian restaurant at the Royal Sporting Club. In September 2005 Francesco opened Franco’s on Jermyn Street for the Hambro family to acclaimed reviews. Francesco then moved on to open the kitchen of renowned restaurateurs Chris Corbin and Jeremy King’s latest London venture, St Alban in September 2006. In June 2008 Francesco Mazzei opened L’Anima.

Francesco’s recipes have appeared in magazines and newspapers wildly across the world and he demonstrates regularly on TV shows in the UK. His consultancy work has seen him and his team work with Alan Yau in the launch of Princi, consult on Italian concept for Istanbuldoors and prepared the Gala Dinner at the Italian stand during the Expo in Shanghai 2010 as well as the Gala Dinner for the Calabrian stand at Vinitaly International Wine & Spirits Fair. Francesco together with Giorgio Locatelli has been the testimonial of the Salumiamo campaign to create greater awareness and promote the wide range of Italy’s finest cured meats to the British market and is also an Ambassador for Slow Food UK and the Welsh Lamb Club.

Francesco has taken part in many other TV shows including Celebrity MasterChef, Market Kitchen and Saturday Kitchen.