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Grana Padano

Francesco Crisante, Caracas, VENEZUELA

Francesco Crisante

He is not a celebrity chef but he has spent his life to hold up the standards of Italian cuisine in Venezuela, the country that received the last vast wave of Italian migration. Francesco was himself a migrant, but a special one: he left Italy in 1957 in search of a better life as an already trained chef (he trained in Villa Santa Maria, Abruzzo, once known as the land of cooks). He was an unusual, almost unique case, among millions of Italian migrants who became chefs and restaurateurs in their new lands without having any training as such. For this reason he is the forerunner of the hundreds of Italian chefs, trained in Italy, and working abroad who have changed the history of Italian cuisine in the world. In the last ten years, Francesco and his family (in picture, with his daughter) have managed Vizio, arguably the best Italian restaurant in the Caribbean South America. He has also managed to survive the huge economic crisis that is swiping Venezuela, forcing the closure of hundred of restaurants in Caracas.