Francesco Mazzei

From a child, Francesco Mazzei could always be found in the kitchen cooking with his mother. When the urge to buy his first pair of Levi jeans got to much, he stared working in his Uncle's geleteria in Calabria, where he learnt to make Italian cakes and ice cream.

After catering college and opening his first restaurant, Francesco moved to Rome in 1992, working at the Joli Hotel before joining The Grand Hotel et de Roma. Moving to London in 1996 to learn English, Francesco worked at several restaurants before he landed a job at his dream hotel, The Dorchester.

From here Francesco went on to work at Michelin starred Eden Terrazza (Rome), Santini restaurants (Edinburgh and Milan), Anda (Marylebone), Hakkasan (London), Royal Sporting club (Bangkok), Franco's (Jermyn Street, London), St Alban (London). The mighty chef even did a six month stint at Pizza Express, where he created six new Calabrian styled pizzas for the chain eatery.

In June 2008, Francesco opened his own restaurant L'Anima. When he's not hard at work in the kitchens, you might recognise the Italian chef from his TV appearances on Saturday Kitchen and Perfect.

Francesco Mazzei