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Chef Pietro Mangani

Born in Luxembourg but originally from Rome, chef Pietro discovered his passion for cooking along the way. Leaving scientific high school, he attended his first day of cooking at the age of 18 as a young apprentice to Heinz Beck’s 3-Michelin-starred La Pergola. After this experience, he was sent to Portugal to another Heinz Beck starred restaurant, where he continued to learn the basics of cooking.

In the year 2015 he returned to Rome to the Alloro restaurant (1 michelin star) led by chef Riccardo Di Giacinto, where he was able to learn about the reinterpretation of Roman cuisine offered in modern fine dining. Then intrigued by molecular cuisine, Chef Pietro headed in 2016 to the Quique Dacosta restaurant ( 3 michelin stars), where he had the opportunity to be taught the most modern culinary techniques. Driven by an extraordinary curiosity, he continued his career path in various countries including Switzerland, London, Greece and Thailand.

In 2021, he took charge of the opening of the Acquamore Restaurant, as executive chef on the beautiful island of Pantelleria, south west of Sicily. It was a wonderful experience for him to have the opportunity to work on an island in the heart of the Mediterranean sea. It gave him the chance to immerse himself in nature and to go fishing, being a great spearfishing enthusiast.

On Pantelleria he came into close contact with the vegetation and, in particular, the marine world. He took the restaurant project to heart and worked hard to develop it. Starting with the name, he paid attention to every detail you would expect to find in top restaurant. The restaurant managed to end the first year in the top spot for the rankings on Tripadvisor, which led to interviews in major newspapers such as la Repubblica and reviews from the Michelin Guide. His goal is to offer authentic Italian cuisine, aiming for the highest quality to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction.

Do you have a favourite time of the year or set of ingredients that you look forward to working with?

I’ve always been passionate about nature, and in particular the marine environment. The island of Pantelleria has allowed me to bring together the purest products of the sea and the products of the land. This combination gives me a great deal of satisfaction in all seasons of the year. In particular, my favourite time is off-season, when the catch is more plentiful and the vegetation becomes wilder again.

What would you do if you weren’t a chef?

In response to this lovely question, I’d like to answer with these key words: sea, fishing, nature, good food. Together, they would’ve made me happy even if I’d become a fisherman or pizza maker. I went to high school for science and then I choose  this career, which right away proved to be very hard, but provided you have a passion for it, it can be really rewarding. To express a life-long dream, I’d have liked to work in the world of motorcars as a pilot.

Do your personal preferences influence the menu at all?

Most definitely. I couldn’t be satisfied if I was unable to express my preferences or my creativity in my work. I imagine that through the dishes that I offer, my guests can recognize my personality, and also my flaws! I never stop giving my personal touch to my dishes; I’m always willing to compare and learn from others, but then I make the final decision.

What do you think is the most over-hyped food trend currently?

In my opinion, right now the strongest trend is the theme of sustainability. We’re at a moment in history where we can no longer pretend that nothing is happening. Personally, it’s a topic I give a lot of importance to. I really appreciate those who contribute to it seriously, but I view those who exploit it for the sake of ratings as being very opportunistic.

When are you happiest?

Work-wise, the best times are when you work together well as a team and you get good results, which is also ultimately a key requirement in life in general. I think the happiest moments arise when both your professional and personal life give you satisfaction, that’s to say there’s no conflict. If I can combine my hobbies with my work, I’m even happier.

When you’ re not in the kitchen where can you be found?

Let’s say if I’m diving maybe only another diver or the fish would be able track me down. Jokes aside, ours is a job where it is necessary to be on call at all times. Even on a day off there could be an emergency. The clientele is demanding, and it’s important to keep standards at a high level. That’s why we say that sometimes we never run out of work.

Where is your favourite place to dine?

They tend to be places where I have fond memories from my youth. For example, the trattoria near my home unlocks many memories of childhood. Or also gladly go to restaurants where I have worked before, where I can say hello to the kitchen and to the staff, with those who i shared many experience. In any case, where i go to eat, i expect an experience!

What’ s your favourite takeaway or comfort food?

Street food definitely wins over everything else. It has incorporated popular traditions and a state of mind in the most sincere way. Delicious! Otherwise, when I particularly crave it i order sushi as long as it’s quality and authentic.

What makes the local food scene so exciting?

So the main answer, in my opinion, is to do with where the food comes from and everything that goes on in the production process. Food needs to be transmitted, it needs to speak, and as chefs we must not forget that. Buying a product that isn’t local is not only unsustainable, it also has a lot less to tell us. When I dive in and manage to get a good catch (it doesn’t always happen!), I cook everything for friends and family… It always makes me happy to tell them what hole I found a grouper in or how I failed to catch a sea bass. The production of vegetables, cheeses, meats, wines, has a world to tell and teach us, the important thing is to never forget this!

Which is the dish you’ve created that you are most proud of and why?

I always try to keep my feet on the ground and avoid bragging about my creations. What I always say is that behind every creation there is the experience we have acquired from our masters and collaborators. Every action in the kitchen is a bit like physics according to Lavoisier’s famous phrase: nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed…

You’re having friends over for dinner tonight. What’s on the table?

Surely there will be dishes from where I’m originally from: Rome. Not to be missed are the battered zucchini flowers, the Jewish artichoke, and the pizza that I always like to cook… Then follow Carbonara or Matriciana, Saltimbocca alla Romana, Tripe with sauce, etc. In short, the table will be packed and you’ll be spoiltfor choice. Keep an eye on the wine!

The name of your favourite city that has it all: food, culture, and nightlife

Let’s say Rome again, it’s impossible not to. The food is delicious, the city is popular, romantic and ancient… there’s no danger of getting bored with the nightlife. I always recommend the centre between the neighborhood of Trastevere and Testaccio.

Can you tell us more about the cuisine at your restaurants? 

My ‘laboratory’ is Acquamore restaurant, in the beautiful resort of the Pantelleria Dream Resort. It is a unique restaurant that touches on the Mediterranean, authentic and sincere. Every day we modify the menu to offer our guests the best material, proposed in a modern way but with great attention to the culture of Sicily, which, ultimately, also has the culture of the whole Mediterranean at its heart.

Recipe for cold soup of yellow cherry tomatoes, red prawns, shrimp and berries:


  • -450g yellow cherry tomatoes
  • -1 cucumber
  • -5g red onion
  • -6g basil
  • -10g lemon juice
  • -8g extra virgin olive oil
  • -3g salt,1g black pepper
  • -80g red prawns
  • -40g tiger shrimp
  • -25g fresh berries
  • -3g small basil leaves


Recipe procedure:

  1.  Mix the yellow cherry tomato, lemon, cucumber, oil, salt, pepper, red onion, olive oil  in a blender to create an emulsion, then put in the refrigerator to chill.
  2. Clean the red prawns and shrimp, season with oil and salt. Cut  the berries.
  3. Serve in a bowl starting with the chilled soup, add the red prawns, tiger shrimp, berries and garnish with small basil leaves.
  4. If you prefer, swap berries for cherries!



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