Inntravel, 20 January, 2014
He has cooked for Sophia Loren and Giorgio Armani, and appeared on American cookery programmes, yet Carlo Zarri of the Villa San Carlo in Piedmont remains surprisingly grounded...
Amongst the photographs on the Villa San Carlo’s website of Carlo with Italian celebrities, you will find even more images of him smiling warmly at the camera alongside people with no claim to fame. To this affable man, a guest is a guest; hospitality is in his blood – the Zarri family has been running inns for four generations.
Hospitality is not the only tradition he is preserving, either. The dishes that he lovingly crafts are based on age-old Piedmontese recipes. In Piedmont, good food and wine (in this case, Barolo) go hand in hand, and Carlo is also a trained sommelier. It is he who carefully selects the wines for the cellar, which has won awards over the years and earned Carlo the role of Ambassador for Italian Wine.
Quite how he fits it all in is a mystery (he has also been heavily involved in the catering for the Italian team at previous winter Olympic Games), yet he still finds time to talk to his guests. For a man with so many strings to his bow, it’s hospitality that comes first and foremost.
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