A master and a student in a kitchen in a restaurant about motorcycles. The seasoned Calabrese chef, Mimmo Cusa, with a lifetime experience of traditional Italian cooking is teaching his tricks of the trade to the younger Mattia Pintori, a cool, artistic chef-in-training from Marchè with a talent for plating and a passion for asian cuisine. While it might seem that these two come from different worlds, there is some definite respect. While Mimmo leaves work and goes home to his two kids and wife and Mattia heads out to Dude Club or Tunnel, these two find a ying and yang in the kitchen, talking about the importance of staying organized, keeping your cool, and keeping it simple. Very California moto-zen if you ask me.
CITY GIRL: Where did you learn to cook?
MIMMO: I went to hoteling school during the summers and then did stages and worked with chefs around Italy.
CITY GIRL: Are there any flavors you would say define you?
MIMMO: It’s hard to say, I’m from Calabria, there’s a lot there.
CITY GIRL: and Mattia, where are you from, where did you learn to cook?
MATTIA: I’m from San Benedetto del Tronto, Marchè. I learned to cook at home, and the house dish has to be Cacciatore. I’ve been leaning a lot towards asian food, though.
CITY GIRL: Being that we’re in a restaurant represented by beautiful motorcycles I have to ask, do either of you ride?
MIMMO: I do, a BMW, I ride it every day to work.
CITY GIRL: How would you describe the cuisine here, how do you keep “Italian identity” on the menu?
MATTIA: We try to keep everything straightforward, simple, with not a lot of condiments, which is very Italian. There are some Calabrian touches from Mimmo and also a bit of influence from the north since my mother’s family is from there.
CITY GIRL: Where do you guys go out after work?
MIMMO: Well I’m married with two kids, so I generally want to go home and see them.
MATTIA: I go out though! I like Tunnel and the Dude Club. I mean you have to go out after work to let go of the tension.
CITY GIRL: Oh yeah Dude Club and Tunnel are both awesome, what brings you there?
MATTIA: Definitely the music, it’s always good.
CITY GIRL: So, Mimmo what is your favorite attribute of Mattia, what does he bring to the table, so to speak?
MIMMO: He brings peace, serenity! He’s my filter.
CITY GIRL: And Mattia, what have you learned from Mimmo?
MATTIA: I learned how to run a kitchen and how to manage people. We have a kitchen that puts out good stuff but that’s also fast. Also something I appreciate about him is that he never gets pissed off, it’s actually hard to make him angry. This is fundamental in the kitchen, you’ve got to stay relaxed.
MIMMO: You can’t get angry while you’re on the line. If you do, just agree to talk about it later, otherwise it’s going to affect what you’re putting out, you’re going to make mistakes.
CITY GIRL: What kind of people generally come to the restaurant?
MIMMO: Meh normal people…a bit of everyone.
MATTIA: Well we get a lot of designers, people in fashion and design, I mean other people too, chill people.
CITY GIRL: How does the menu reflect the style of the restaurant and the brand?
MIMMO: In its straightforward simplicity. Few ingredients, in fact we try to keep them down to no more than 5, but of the best quality possible.
MATTIA: Yeah I would agree. It can be hard to cook in Milan, there are a lot of critics out there, we find that simple is best.
CITY GIRL: Have you guys every thought of doing a Food Truck?
MIMMO: yeah! It would be perfect actually for Deus. The brand represents someone who wanted to do something different. Their motorcycles are unique, there is nothing else out there like them.