Stefania's journey towards being a chef is a unique one. She taught at various levels and places, worked as a chef, and earned her degree in humanities (Renaissance history and literature, history of art). She advocates cuisine as a means to understand the culture of a people. The diversity of regional Italian cuisine is in fact the mirror of a country with ancient cultural roots and that has been influenced by many foreign invasions. Stefania comes from generations of Tuscan origins and she credits her family with cultivating her passion for the local landscapes and traditions of Tuscany and Italy.
Born and raised in the French-influenced Ivory Coast, Desire Boualy came to Italy as a young man to learn Italian cuisine and work in several restaurants in the Tuscan region. Desire has represented Apicius at the international tapas competition in Valladolid, Spain, and a cous cous competition in Trapani (Sicily, Italy). He currently teaches professional and amateur courses at Apicius and has also been involved in the institution's culinary publications. Desire has cooked for several of Apicius' Tuscan-themed dinners at the James Beard Foundation.
Umberto grew up in a home where cooking was done daily and the wood-fired oven was lit up each weekend to prepare the week’s bread. He fondly remembers family cooking as an exchange of culinary knowledge. After completing his studies in foreign literatures, he became an AIS-certified sommelier and was involved in the organization of food and wine events in the Chianti area of Tuscany. Umberto stresses that we never stop learning in the kitchen and at Apicius, where learners have the privilege of studying Tuscan foods at their source, his goal is to bring new experiences that all individuals can benefit from.
Giuseppe's love for cuisine has taken him around the world. After completing his culinary studies in Reggio Calabria, he worked in luxury hotels in northern Italy. Once abroad, he experimented different food cultures and became specialized in Japanese cuisine. He's worked at Astoria Place (NY), Cesar's Palace and the Venetian (Las Vegas), and Cipriani (NY). He teaches for the local hospitality high school and at Apicius. Giuseppe appreciates Florentine cuisine for "its versatility allowing both experimentation and a natural state of simplicity and sincerity."
Vincenzo sustains that Italy is the most interesting corner of the world for its traditions, territory, culture, and art. But what truly makes Italy exclusive is its cuisine, and specifically Tuscan food as an important expression of healthy Mediterranean eating. He has worked to help spread Italian food culture in Middle Eastern countries such as Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates, has opened a Tuscan restaurant in Budapest, and managed the production for a banquet company in Italy. He defines his teaching style as a perfect fit with the Apicius approach of combining “quality teaching methods and styles, professionalism, and cordiality towards culinary learners.”
Vittoria is specialized in macrobiotic cuisine, medicinal food, and the art of cooking with the aim of respecting the body. She has worked as a chef both on land and at sea in locations such as restaurants, yachts, and sailboats. Her greatest satisfaction comes from the impact of teaching cuisine on the lifestyles and awareness of her students. She defines cuisine as the meeting place where socializing, art, colors, and flavors encounter sustainability, seasonability, and health. When teaching Apicius classes, she loves to encounter different personalities that unite over the same dish. Tuscan cuisine for Vittoria is simple, not camouflaged, and always genuine.