Chef Lorenzo Boni grew up with a passion for Italian food in Bologna, Italy....
Italy is one of the most beautiful and romantic places in Europe and the world. It is a vibrant, rich and romantic culture and our current Chef of the Month, Chef Lorenzo Boni, hails from this popular location. When one thinks of Italy, images of art, fashion, great cuisine and a strong history comes to mind. Italy is one of the oldest countries in the world and the 5th most visited (47.7 million tourists, 2013 behind France, USA, Spain and China. Chef Lorenzo’s hometown is Bologna, Italy and located in the northern part of the country.
Here are some facts about Italy:
Population: 61.7 million (2014 estimate)
Official Languages: Italian as well as German, French and Ladin.
Popular Italian Brands:
BVLGARI: Jewelry and luxury goods brand
Giorgio Amani: fashion house
Barilla Group: food company that makes pasta, ready-made sauces and bakery products
Ferrari S.p.A: luxury sports car manufacturer
- Italians love sports. Among the popular ones are cycling, skiing, soccer and motor racing.
- Family is very important to Italians.
- Italians love their food and they are known for pizza, pasta, pesto, gelato, lasagna and mozzarella cheese.
- Italy surrounds two of the world’s smallest countries. They are San Marino in Northern Italy, the oldest republic in the world and Vatican City in Rome, the smallest country in the world. Vatican City is led by the Pope and is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, also led by the Pope.
Sources: retrieved from
Chefuniforms.com, a leading retailer of restaurant and chef uniforms, sponsored Traditional Fit Chef coats for all contestants on Food Network’s ice cream-themed competition series, King of Cones.The series which premiered August 4th, 2014, can be seen Mondays at 8pm ET/PT on Food Network.
ChefUniforms.com sponsored all of the traditional fit chef coats for each contestant on the series, outfitting each team in 4 colors: Ocean Blue, Ember Orange, Wine and Apple Green. The colors add a stylish flair and complement the ice cream theme of the competition. The Traditional Fit Chef coats have knotted cloth buttons and are made with a 65/35 Poly/Cotton blend which adds a richer fashion detail to each chef’s professional look. The coats provide a more contoured, tailored cut with extra room built into the biceps and underarm areas that both men and women can wear.
King of Cones is an ice-cream competition challenging dessert chefs to make the most incredible frozen treats imaginable. In three heart-pounding elimination challenges, a giant ice cream truck arrives with a new theme and a mystery ingredient that the four talented contestants have to translate into a uniquely delicious ice cream dessert – before time runs out. In the end, only one will scoop up the grand prize of $10,000 and be named King of Cones.
In an extremely male-dominated industry, it is no surprise that over 90% of executive chefs are men. In spite of this, many female chefs are working hard to break the glass ceiling that is keeping them from leading brigades and are paving the way to inspire other female chefs with their dedication, passion, and talent. Aside from these creative attributes and well-versed skillset, female chefs also appreciate looking professional on the job. That’s why we offer flattering, professional, and elegant choices for all of our female chefs out there.
Our best sellers tend to be black, red, and grey across the board, but many female chefs appreciate adding a touch of pink to their wardrobe. Pink contrasted with black gives female chefs a bold, fun, and professional look. This coat offers mesh side details to provide a slimming look and a cool, comfortable feel. Made from 200% Cotton Fine Line Twill, this coat is a breeze to take care of, making it extremely durable. The short sleeves and front snap closure give this coat a sophisticated, stylish look.
Available in 9 color-blocked options, this short sleeve chef coat achieves the perfect balance between style, comfort, and utility. Featuring adjustable back ties for fit, this coat makes tailoring as easy as can be! The Poly/Cotton blend makes this coat light and comfy to last you all day in the kitchen. A reversible closure and high quality fabric covered buttons complete the look.
For fans of the longer chef coat, our traditional fit coat is just for you! This elegant, fashion-forward look features plenty of storage for tools and has extra room in the arms for a more relaxed fit while maintaining a sleek look. Available in four color-blocked options, this coat also has piping to break up the garment. Chefs who love tradition will appreciate this timeless, classic look.
What do you look for in your chef coats?
Summer is sweltering and so is your kitchen! As you know, looking professional in your chef coat is very important. But staying cool and comfortable when your entire torso is heating up is quite the challenge! So, knowing which fabrics are more breathable than others is key for chefs who value comfort in their work wear.
Luckily, ChefUniforms.com has plenty of coats to keep you feeling and looking cool. Lightweight coats allow you to maintain that professional look that you value while enjoying the flexibility and moisture-wicking properties of these coats. Typically made from cotton, polyester, or a blend of both, these chef coats are crafted to keep you feeling fresh in the kitchen. These coats offer a sleek, fitted look that you’ll love made from light, silky smooth fabric that you need!
- This double breasted chef coat has our seal of lightweight approval! Featuring fashionable color-blocking details, this coat has plenty of pocket storage. Not to mention, it is easy to wash and maintain! Enjoy this tailored, classic look, in the colors you love.
Mesh coats are perfect for chefs that don’t “mesh” around in the kitchen! Our collection, offered in short and long sleeve options, retains the signature chef coat look that you appreciate as a professional.
- Our Basic Fit Mesh Back Chef coat, available in black and white, is perfect for the chefs who value the classics. The subtle mesh back detail gives you some breathing room and keeps you dry all day long! Durable and versatile, this chef coat features details such as a reversible closure, breast pocket, thermometer pocket, and finished cuffs and collar.
What fabrics keep you feeling cool in the kitchen?
One of the fastest-growing sectors of our economy, the restaurant industry provides millions of Americans with jobs. In fact, nearly 50% of American adults have worked in the restaurant industry during their life, and over 25% of American adults held their first job at a restaurant! According to the US Census Bureau, employees in our nation’s nearly one million restaurants account for almost 10% of the 13.5 million people in the US workforce!
Apart from the many experienced people in the restaurant industry, most of the people who tend to benefit from the restaurant industry’s growth and millions of job opportunities tend to be young people just starting out in the workforce, searching for income and experience. In spite of the fact that many of these restaurant employees – especially younger people – view this line of work as temporary, 58% of all restaurant workers are 25 and older, and 12% of those individuals are 55 and older. However, about 40% of these workers are only employed for part time. This statistic of part time workers is twice as much as part time employees in all other industries.
These numbers are likely to continue their rapid increase, as employment growth in the restaurant industry is projected to be higher than national job growth for the 15th year in a row! Talk about a winning streak!
Check out this infographic from Restaurant.org for more fascinating information about this opportunity-filled industry here: http://www.restaurant.org/Restaurant/media/Restaurant/SiteImages/News%20and%20Research/Typical_Restaurant_Worker.jpg
How did you get your start in the culinary world?
Height is an advantage in many aspects of life, but unfortunately, shopping for clothes that actually cover more than half of your forearms is definitely not one of them. And don’t even get us started on those so-called “full length pants” that end up fitting like capris on you…We know your frustrations, and we’re here for you. That’s why Chef Uniforms features 3 stylish options in what you need: short sleeve chef coat, long sleeve chef coat, and pants.
Maintaining a slim, chic look, the men’s tall traditional fit short sleeve chef coat provides your torso with the coverage it needs. Made from a premium blend of Poly/Cotton fabric, this chef coat fits just right on your arms so you still have flexibility for full range of movement in the kitchen. It’s also loaded with helpful features that you’ll love in the kitchen, such as knotted cloth buttons, left sleeve thermometer pocket, and a double-breasted look.
This shop look offers you the protection you need in the kitchen! With professionally tailored arm cuts and some added room built into the arms for flexibility, this coat hits the mark in providing elegance and practicality! Red contrasts nicely with the black color of the chef coat for a dramatic look at the cuffs, neckline, chest, and pockets. This 100% Cotton fine twill premium fabric will have you feeling and looking good!
Kiss the days of awkwardly fitting chef pants goodbye with these pants! Sitting at the waist, these pants offer slightly wider leg openings for a more relaxed, slightly baggy fit. Made from luxurious 100% cotton medium weight twill fabric, this pant is the epitome of chef-wear comfort. These modern, stylish, black pants will pair well with both our short and long sleeve chef coats, as well as any other solid coat you may already own.
We hope that these elegant options made just for you will finally give you the coverage, style, and comfort that you deserve! “Why yes, the weather up here is nice, thank you very much.”
Chef Lorenzo Boni grew up with a passion for Italian food in Bologna, Italy. While studying culinary arts, Lorenzo traveled extensively throughout Italy, immersing himself in the regional cuisines of Italy working at many top rated restaurants such as Paracucchi in Amelia, San Domenico in Imola, Pappagallo in Bologna, Tentativo in Rome and Casanova grill in Milan. He then traveled to the United States, where he served as the Second Chef and Pastry Chef at the San Domenico Restaurant in New York City, which was rated as the best Italian restaurant in the country at the time. After working in New York, he returned to Italy and opened his own restaurant, Osteria du Madon, in Bologna, which was awarded by Fodor’s guide as best Osteria of Italy, while serving as consultant to Barilla Italy at the R&D center. In 2001, Lorenzo joined Barilla Italy full time at their world R&D headquarter in Parma. In 2003, he was promoted to Executive Chef for Barilla America, returning once again to the U.S. In his current role, Lorenzo is responsible for product and recipe development, as well as managing the culinary execution of all Barilla sponsored events. Lorenzo is also being a relator and spoke person for Barilla in many food conferences around the country. He resides in Evanston IL. with his wife, Beata and his daughter Valentina.
Congratulations Chef Lorenzo Boni on being our Chef of the Month for August!
We really enjoyed getting to know you!
1. What is the name of your company and where are you based?
I am the Executive Chef for Barilla America (Canada, US, Brazil, Mexico) and am based in our Corporate Office in Chicago. I am responsible for developing recipes to be posted on our website, social media sites, at the back of our packaging, in our advertising, flyers, booklets and support food service business for restaurants and events like the South Beach Wine and Food Festival.
2. What is your birthplace?
3. What made you decide to become a chef?
I always loved cooking and learnt from my Dad when I was growing up and became more interested in it. When I was thinking about my career, I chose to be a chef and studied at my culinary school here in Italy.
4. What do you enjoy doing outside of being a chef?
Two things – Spending time with my family, I have 1 daughter who is 7 years and Photography which I apply on my job for our Marketing efforts. I also love sports – biking, swimming, running and I normally run marathons in New York and Chicago.
5. What is your favorite social media platform?
Instagram for Professional and Facebook for Personal.
6. What is your Must Have Kitchen Tool?
French Made Cast Iron Dutch Oven – I love the way it is designed and it cooks so easily and the food comes out great!
7. What is your specialty dish?
Pasta – Mediterranean Inspired Pasta like Seafood Pasta. My favorite is Spaghetti with clams and colorful and light pastas.
8. What’s the strangest thing you ever ate?
When I was working for Barilla Italy, I went to Australia for a food show and next door, there was a booth that serves crocodile meat which I tried. It was okay.
Chef Lorenzo Boni’s Gluten Free Penne with Mushrooms and Sweet Peas from Barilla
Prep time: 10 min Cook time: 10 min
4Tbsp (50 ml) extra virgin olive oil
½ onion, diced
½ pound (227 g) mixed mushrooms, sliced
1cup (200 ml) heavy cream
1cup (150g) peas
1 Box BARILLA Gluten Free Penne
½ cup (75g) Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
To Taste salt and black pepper
BRING a large pot of water to a boil. In a large skillet SAUTE the onion in olive oil for about 5 minutes or until slightly browned. ADD the mushrooms and saute for an additional 5 minutes. ADD the heavy cream and the peas, season with salt and pepper, bring to a simmer. COOK the pasta according, drain and toss with the sauce. REMOVE from the heat and add the Parmigiano cheese, toss to combine.
9. Who would you most like to cook for?
Muhammad Ali. He is the greatest athlete and an iconic American figure. He was a hero for us in Italy because of what he stood for and through his achievements in sport.
10. Do you enjoy dining out on your free time? What is your favorite type of cuisine?
Yes, I love dining out. I am on the road a lot and I like several: Japanese, Italian and Rustic French.
11. What features are important to you when selecting a Chef Coat? (particular fabric, style, sleeve length, pockets)
Fabric is very important to me. I like Egyptian cotton. I like white long sleeved jackets that are light and allows your body to breathe well.
12. What fabric and style of chef uniform do you enjoy wearing the most?
Barilla keeps it classic with white jackets and blue finishes on the sleeves, cuffs and collar as one of Barilla’s corporate colors is Blue.
~His experience and advice~
13. How long have you been a chef and where did you study?
I went to the Culinary Institute off the coast of Rimini, Italy.
14. What education or experience would you recommend for aspiring chefs?
Be in school as long as you can. Studying at Culinary Institutes is very important. They should get to know the general culture too and learn different languages. Like with Instagram, which I use a lot, I communicate with international chefs and learn from them as well.
15. What would you recommend as far as on-the-job training?
In your first year, look for the best restaurants and hotels that are high end to work with and learn as much as you can. You will gain a lot of experience even though they will pay you less. Further along in your career, you will get paid more and will be more flexible to pursue other opportunities.
16. Can you offer some advice for aspiring chefs?
Keep an open mind having different careers in this industry. Have a scientific approach in understanding food because it will help you with different opportunities that you can pursue as a career other than restaurants and hotels.
17. Do you try to experience your competitors’ food? Do you ever get ideas from them?
We have a defined line of recipes we feature but we do try other competing pastas and monitor it.
18. Do you think it is important to visit the markets rather than just have standard orders?
It is key to understand markets and growers. When I was based in Italy, I learnt about the produce they carried and built deep relationships with them especially as there were no standards like the US.
19. How do you test a new recipe without putting it on the permanent menu?
We do not have permanent menus like that of restaurants but we test recipes in small amounts and support our local farmers through this process.
20. How do chefs use technology in their day to day operations?
Cooking technology has seen a big revolution in the last 10 years. A few months ago, I met with a chef from Spain by the name of Ferran Adria. He invented Molecular cuisine. It is based on deconstructing ingredients and using them in different forms. He started a movement of using different technologies with nitrogen liquid where it freezes foods instantly to preserve its freshness. In thawing out the foods, you cook with low temperatures which is called sous vide cooking and you put in a device into the water to keep the temperatures controlled. You can cook the food for longer periods of time which will give you a bigger yield and the texture is more tender and softer. There is less wastage and this type of cooking is normally done in higher end restaurants.
~2014 and The Future~
21. How has the revolution to eat healthy influenced you as a Chef?
I was always health conscious as that is how I was brought up in Italy. I love healthy food and being active. I am always finding techniques and ways to cook healthy.
22. What do you think of “Green Kitchens?” Is it realistic to outfit your kitchens to be environmentally friendly?
At Barilla, we do our best to recycle everything and be a great corporate player in preserving the environment.
23. How does Social Media play a role for Chefs today?
When I started in this industry in the 1980s, everything was a mystery and it was hard to learn from restaurants and other cultures. Now, with social media, everything is open and the exchange of information is unparalleled. It is great to exchange ideas with people all around the world.
It’s no surprise that we live in a world saturated with technology. The sharing of opinions, ideas, and news is remarkably simple. As a result, all types of businesses from fashion to finance have turned to this online market for opportunity. With people spending roughly two hours on their smartphones per day, mobile marketing has taken online consumerism by storm. Now more than ever, consumers are able to communicate their opinions and experiences with restaurant venues and their cuisine in a way that reaches a large audience. We have some helpful tips to help you stay in the game and capitalize on technology.
- Join the frenzy: Create a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram account for your restaurant: These social media sites are by far the most popular ones out there – largely because sharing information on these is very straightforward. The fact that you even took the time to market on these social media sites shows your potential and current customers that you are interested and passionate about letting others know about your restaurant. Sharing pictures of your delicious specialties will have customers flocking to you in no time!
- Create a mobile-friendly website for your customers on the go. Nothing is more frustrating than being excited about a restaurant and struggling to find a smartphone-compatible menu! Take the time to create a simpler, mobile website that is easy on the eyes. For a very user-friendly experience, be sure to create organized tabs, such as “Menu” and “Restaurant Hours.” Your customers will appreciate this easy-to-navigate look that will help them gain a feel for what your restaurant is like.
- Create an easy to navigate online website for your restaurant. Potential customers will love the user friendly approach of your website. It is also helpful to create your restaurant as a location on Google so when customers search for you, they can easily find your restaurant, its phone number, and menu all in one place.
- Familiarize yourself with popular restaurant critiquing apps, such as Yelp! And Urban Spoon. These apps are extremely popular amongst customers – tourists and locals alike – looking for new eats. By tracking their user’s location, these apps allow the user to find top rated restaurants near them to dine at. They filter by price range, type of cuisine, and rating. So, make sure that your restaurant gives off the right impression to these potential customers! Check up on these apps frequently to see what people are saying about your restaurant to look for areas of improvement, as well as positive reviews for popular dishes to see what you’re doing right!
- Stay up to date on which websites are the most successful choice for marketing your restaurant. Let’s face it, MSN and AskJeeves tried, but they will never be Google. Invest your time and money in reputable and popular search engines that will assist you in promoting your restaurant. Ensure that your restaurant becomes a top hit on these search engines by including a very descriptive biography on your restaurant’s website’s homepage. These words will come up in specific customer searches, such as the location, type of cuisine, awards or accolades, the atmosphere, and unique aspects that your restaurant specializes in.
What mobile strategies does your restaurant use?
Our July Chef of the Month, Jason Connelly is based in Florida and works at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa. He is the Senior Sous Chef for the Sea Level Restaurant and Ocean Bar. We wanted to indulge you in the Marriott Brand and how far it has come in the last 87 years.
Marriott International Inc has been around for more than 80 years. Founded in 1927 when J. Willard Marriott and his wife, Alice S. Marriott opened his 9-stool root beer stand in Washington, D.C., it evolved into the Hot Shoppes Restaurant chain and eventually, transformed into the largest hotel company with more than 4,000 properties in over 80 countries. Marriott is headquartered near Washington, DC in Bethesda, Maryland, USA and their President and CEO is Arne Sorenson.
According to Marriott’s site, they divulged that “their reputation for superior customer service dates back to J. Willard Marriott’s original goal for his business: “good food and good service at a fair price.” We take pride in the details—every day, in every destination worldwide. A true hands-on manager, he thoroughly enjoyed visiting Marriott’s increasingly far-flung locations, as well as spending time with the ever-growing ranks of associates who – in his eyes – were the secret of his company’s success. “Take care of associates and they’ll take care of your customers,” he constantly advised Marriott’s managers, voicing a deeply held belief that remains the keystone of the company’s culture. Sometime before his death at his New Hampshire vacation home on August 13, 1985, J. Willard Marriott summed up the personal philosophy that drove him his entire life: “A man should keep on being constructive, and do constructive things. He should take part in the things that go on in this wonderful world. He should be someone to be reckoned with. He should live life and make every day count, to the very end. Sometimes it’s tough. But that’s what I’m going to do.” Raised in the family business, J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr. developed an early passion for hospitality. Their son, J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr., grew up working in the family business and spent more than 50 years shaping it into one of the world’s leading hospitality companies. Bill Marriott is currently Marriott’s Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board.”
Marriott’s Facts (Taken from Marriott’s News Center)
- A FORTUNE 500 Company
- Listed on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: MAR)
- $13 billion in annual revenue in 2013
- More than 4,000 locations in 80 countries and territories worldwide
- More than 150 new hotels opened in 2012 in U.S. alone
- Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) has been named to the FORTUNE 500, ranking 219 overall, up from 2013’s ranking of 230, and ranking as the top hotel company in the hotels, casinos and resorts category.
- Marriott is also the highest ranked company on the list with its headquarters in the Washington, DC-area.
- Marriott is also included on this year’s FORTUNE “The Best Places to Work” list and the magazine’s The World’s Most Admired List, which measures a company’s corporate reputation.
- Marriott has more than 690,000 rooms and, as of the end of quarter one 2014, the company had more than 200,000 rooms in its global development pipeline, a 35 percent increase from a year ago.
Have you ever stayed at one of Marriott’s Hotels? Tell us what you loved about them!