Mussels in the mouth and Michelin stars: the chef regains glory after an epic teardown


“They had a great time laughing at us,” Pellegrino said, adding that if the party had done the same at a local trattoria, “they would have been kicked” in the butt.

Informed of the charge of rudeness, Ms. DeRuiter was appalled. “Attempts by Bros’ chefs to blame their customers for the quality of service received,” she wrote in an email, “is the antithesis of what makes a good restaurant.”

Misunderstood masterpiece or lousy meal, excoriation or well-deserved ax work, what is clear is that Mr. Pellegrino had unexpectedly established himself as the ultimate caricature of the egocentric haute cuisine chef. Even more than its Michelin star, this marks the progress made.

Mr Pellegrino lives with Ms Potì near Scorrano, where he was born and raised and where the authorities recently dissolved the town hall for his mafia infiltration. His father “had problems with the law”, he said, and his mother prepared typical dishes like horse meat in the kitchen of the family farm and agritourism, where he rode horses with him. his two little brothers. She told them one would be a cop, the other a crook. He insisted that he would be “a chef with a chain of restaurants”.

Mr Pellegrino said the culinary dream had helped him avoid the crime that had captured many of his friends, as had the discipline he learned from playing rugby. Bros ‘restaurant now has its own Bros’ Rugby Club, which brings local players into the kitchen and foreign restaurant interns and staff, sometimes seemingly reluctantly, into the gym and onto the field.

“Team spirit,” he said.

At 16, Mr. Pellegrino followed his mother to work in a restaurant in the seaside resort of Otranto. When he slept, she dragged him by the ear, locked in rugby, berating “finish what you start”. He remained loyal to the kitchen, but at 18 he fell out with his parents after totaling their Fiat. Worried about having fallen into the wrong crowd, he decided to go it alone.

“Like a samurai,” he said.

He sent a Facebook message to Ilario Vinciguerra, a renowned chef outside Milan, pleading for a place in the kitchen.

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