“I wasn’t even as tall as the butcher counter of the family shop when I started working there, just for fun. It was my dad that passed to me the passion and culture of the butchering craft. Thanks to him, I learned to understand the animals, the techniques, the manual labor and the secrets of maturation and aging of meats, all of the know-how necessary to become a true macellaio.”
In 1989 Gian Pietro, together with his mother, took the reigns of the family shop in the years following the death of his father. In an effort to better understand the logistics of a market with increasingly bigger numbers he decided to embark on an experience in widespread distribution. Thus, he closed the butcher shop of San Giovanni Ilarione and transferred to Arzignano, where he began working in a supermarket chain, first as butcher and then as manager of the fresh meat department. The experience lasted 10 years, in which Gian Pietro dedicated himself to the research of artisans and producers up and down Italy and abroad. In such was born a continuously strong desire to open a store, not a simple butcher shop, but a place with strong character, that would be rooted in family tradition but open to an international breadth: a 360 degree approach to the gourmet world. From 2005 to 2006 he began forming his dream, and on December 27, 2007 he opened, alongside his brother Giorgio and his girlfriend Fortunata, “Damini Macelleria & Affini.”
“Cooking for me has always been a demonstration of love and of the way in which we are exposed to and accepting of other people and customs. I grew up in a family where food, especially meat, always held a special role, ever since childhood. At home I was witness to countless gestures, lessons, and recipes that I still find useful today. Discovering I wanted to be a chef came outside of my home, though, in junior high school, during an after-school cooking class by professor Menin.”
Giorgio followed his instinct and enrolled in the Angelo Berti hospitality institute in Verona. The year 1992 was a turning point. During various stages of the summer and winter periods, he encountered Fabio Tacchella for the first time, chef of the restaurant “Antica Pesa” in Stallavena (VR) and then Giorgio Sancassiani, chef of the restaurant “La Pergola” of Verona, whom, both on a professional and personal level, would both leave an indelible impact on his curriculum.
Finished studying and having spent various experiences in other restaurants of the Veneto, Sardega and Alto-Adige, he decided to travel, embarking on the principle of giving an international impact to his cooking. In 2003 he set off for London, where he connected with the Friulian chef Valentino Bosch of the restaurant “Per%Cento”, spending 2 years working as first chef de partie and eventually demi sous chef.
Giorgio returned to Italy with confidence and a rich skillset, yet never losing sight that the road ahead was still long. At the pinnacle of fine dining, he managed to enter the Michelin starred kitchen of Nadia Santini, “Dal Pescatore” in Canneto sull’Oglio (MN) in 2004, remaining for two years. From 2006 to 2007 he worked with Giancarlo Perbellini, in the restaurant “Perbellini” on the island of Rizza (VR), concluding just in time to open, alongside brother Gian Peitro, “Damini Macelleria & Affini.”