The Unconventional Chef
A twist of Naples, a touch of Long Island, a good splash of Manhattan - top it off with just the right amount of Lisbon and you get Michael Guerrieri, a lively upbeat chef who is not afraid to reinvent traditional tastes with adaptations based on familiar and comforting flavors.
Guerrieri´s first encounter with the culinary world came at the age of 14 working at Dante’s, a local pizzeria on Long Island. He received hands-on training from chef/owner Maria Rotta, a vibrant Uruguayan who was determined to teach him everything about operating a kitchen. “I became envious seeing her close the oven door with her foot while her hands would be preparing a dish”.
At the age of 22 he established himself as a young restauranteur with the opening of Mannino's, a favorite stop for travelers en route to the Hamptons, along with a catering company called "Michael's Elegant Affairs". Before long he was serving up creative dishes to New York’s high society, celebrities and the music industry. “It was an easy recipe; work with quality, originality and always keep the conversation honest ."
In 1996 when visiting Portugal, Guerrieri became captivated by the locals and the lifestyle of the country.Introduced to new ingredients, flavors and Portuguese wines, it became clear that it was time to seek a change from the East Coast and get a better taste of this hidden european paradise.
Guerrieri continues to prepare gastronomic combinations which reflect his artistic abilities. His latest venture is providing affordable personalized gourmet sandwiches for people on the go, City Sandwich. “Gourmet doesn’t always need to be served on a warm dish. It was time for a serious sandwich - no mayo, no fatty sauces and no compressed leftover chicken parts .”
Inspirations from his unique cultural experiences, personal discoveries and his multilingual capacity has given this Chef the ability to absorb that extra spoonful of information allowing him to translate food into a universal language that transcends all social and cultural barriers.