Meet Restaurant Manager Marcello and Head Chef Carlo
Our new Italian restaurant, Casa, opened at the end of June. Heading up the operation are Marcello and Carlo. Both hugely experienced in the restaurant industry, let’s find a bit more about them both. Their background and plans for Casa
Where are you from and tell us about your time in hospitality?
Carlo: I come from the Amalfi Coast in southern Italy. I first left the region 38 years ago and my career as a Chef has taken me to a number of countries including the USA, but mainly in locations throughout the UK
Marcello: I also hail from southern Italy – Puglia. 44 years ago, I married my English wife and have worked at many hotels and restaurants throughout England, Switzerland and Italy in a range of management roles. For 12 years with the San Carlo brand
What brought you to Casa?
Marcello: I live locally, the opportunity arose to lead a brand new Italian restaurant in a village that does not have one, so I jumped at it. It’s a lovely part of the world, in a lovely building, an exciting opportunity
Carlo: Marcello encouraged me to come here. We’ve worked together, known each other for a long time. He could see it would work very well
What excites you about the project?
Carlo: The opportunity to bring a bit of southern Italy to Bollington. Cooking from that part of the world is all about simplicity. Not overcomplicating things, but focusing on fresh ingredients and fabulous flavours. Fresh fish, fresh vegetables, producing the very best dish with ingredients available to hand
Marcello: Correct. Simple dishes, but from a service point of view, I want people who come here to feel comfortable straight away. A warm welcome is so important. To chat to our guests, get to know our guests. That will be our priority
Favourite dishes on the menu:
Carlo: The chicken dish (pollo cacciatora) and the sea bass (filetti di branzino). Fish is so popular where I am from, so I’m so excited to serve this to our guests. They’ll love it
Marcello: For me, its the lasagne, but also the pasta alla norma. Two examples of simple, traditional dishes, simple ingredients, tasting great. Excited to pair with some lovely wines and also maybe a cocktail on arrival. Our Bar Manager Tyler has worked hard to put together a great list!
What ambitions do you have for Casa?
Carlo: Obviously to produce great food and enjoy very good feedback. We want to be busy, we want to be the number one dining experience in Bollington…a place where both locals and our hotel guests will enjoy visiting
Marcello: A restaurant that provides a warm, very friendly welcome and where the guest feels at ease. I’m already looking forward to putting together a lunch promotion for next month, and also how we can provide a bit of an Italian twist with our Sunday roasts
Celebrities met during your time in the industry?
Marcello: I’ve been very lucky. From Lennox Lewis and David Beckham, to Mick Jagger and Liza Minnelli. Fingers crossed, they may be visiting us at Casa!
When your not cooking great food or serving guests, how do you like to spend your time?
Carlo: I love walking, love the outdoors, so a long walk in the hills with the dog can’t be beaten. With the countryside around Hollin House, its just perfect!
Marcello: Good coffee and time with the wife
The final question, after food, Italian’s second passion…football. Favourite team?
Carlo: Easy. The current champions and my local team, Napoli. However…when I’m in Manchester, it has to be City
Marcello: AC Milan
Anything else to tell us about Casa?
Marcello: Although we are based at Hollin, I see Casa as being almost a stand alone product. It has its own brand, identity, and yes we look forward to serving our hotel residents, but also promoting it as a restaurant in its own right. To attract a strong local following, I believe this is important. So, I encourage all our locals to come in, meet us, enjoy some delicious food. Whether it is on our current early dine promo or maybe later on this year. We’re looking forward to welcoming all