Italian name: MAPO
Graduated: IL CUOCO – ALMA 10^ edition
Favourite dish: TROFIE AL PESTO & DAKGALB
Mapo, let’s start with you! Tell us: what do you do today?
Today I have a restaurant in the centre of South Korea, in my city, Daejeon. My restaurant is called “L’ANGOLO.” It’s been open for already 8 years now: I have many customers; I am very happy.
What is your specialty?
It is an Italian Cuisine Restaurant, specialized in fresh pasta.
When did you open the restaurant? And how is your restaurant today?
I opened the restaurant 8 years ago, shortly after the course: firstly, I got married and I opened the restaurant right after that. During my honeymoon, I came back to Italy and visited ALMA. With the pandemic, it was difficult. Today I resumed all activities and I am fine. I have about 30 seats. I am Owner-Chef of the restaurant and I am supported by 3 other cooks that work with me and 4 people working front of house. My family also grew alongside the restaurant: today I have three children and I am very happy.
What did you do before coming to ALMA?
I started studying Italian Cuisine in school, in ALMA. Before that, I worked as a cook in Japanese restaurants for two years and before that I was a soldier. Today I am satisfied. ALMA helped me a lot. It was a joy to learn so many new things, it was such an important path for me. I regret I managed to go back to Italy only once, on my honeymoon. During the course I completed 2 internships, one at Enoteca Pinchiorri (3 Michelin starred restaurant) and the other at Miramonti L’Altro (2 Michelin starred restaurant). I am still in touch with the chefs from the internships.
Tell us about your experience during the pandemic. How did you go through that period?
Well, 3 children: I had no choice but to work (he laughs…). In South Korea during the pandemic, restaurants were allowed to work: we could stay open, but there were very few customers. But I held on, I could work and had to work.
And now the future – what would you like to do in the next years?
Ideally, I would like to open a restaurant in harmony with nature, with animals, and maybe open a culinary arts school. I don’t know when though; today my city is Daejeon and I am very happy here. Life is good here, it is a university city dedicated to scientific research.