Chef Gregorio Spinzo is an Italian chef who grew up in Southern Italy on the Mediterranean Sea.
As he looks back, his training as a chef started in his hometown when he was very young. He would go to the outdoor market every Friday with his mother, help carry her bags, taste the food samples the vendors were giving out as his mother would explain to him how important fresh, home-grown, and local ingredients are to their Southern Italian recipes.
When he was young, Gregorio’s mother wanted to make sure that even the boys learned how to cook. Of all his brothers, he was the most interested in learning how to make authentic Southern Italian food. At the age of 6 he was already making fresh pasta with his grandmother for Sunday lunch. Family meals are very important in Italy.
The sense of community in Southern Italy revolves around family, local food and good wine. People love to share their food; it’s in their blood! Gregorio also believes that food for Italians is like love. “You are showing people your love when you are making them a great meal”, he says.
His father, who worked full time, supported this philosophy by having a small farm close to the house because he wanted to make sure his 8 children developed their own passion, and love for food.
Chef Gregorio learned from his family the importance of using fresh and local ingredients in the rustic Southern Italian cuisine. When he was older, he worked at local restaurants on his summer break from school to learn more from the Chefs.
It was only when he met his American wife, Chef Paige Healy, who was enrolled in a cooking school in Italy at the time, and moved to her home town in Richmond, VA, that he understood how so many people crave this fresh, simple way of eating.
Gregorio and Paige wanted to share the family style feel, and taste of Southern Italy with others through Dinner in the Field. This began in 2014, and it has been a huge success.
Dinner in the Field and Gregorio’s southern Italian recipes were such a hit, many of their followers wanted to see where they came from. Gregorio loved the idea of showing people from the States his hometown and have them meet his family and friends. This is how the Southern Italy Tour got started!
For those people who cannot attend the Southern Italy Tour or Dinner in the Field in the Richmond area, Gregorio is now doing private dinners in people’s homes. He is excited to meet new people and talk with them about good food and of course ITALY!