Moving to a whole new country and starting over comes with its challenges but being able to also become successful and strive in the hospitality industry requires a lot of passion and hard work.
Today we talk about chef Armando Palma, who was born in Taranto, South Italy, on may 4 1962.
Mr Palma, who is one of the five Italian chefs able to make and organise Medieval banquets, admitted his passion for cooking was passed to him by his grandmother Rafeluccia.
Speaking to Unsaid he said: “It’s thanks to her that I fell in love with this hard but amazing job. The love for my culture and traditions, for the natural ingredients pushed me to become the successful chef I am today. To me it all has to do with the flavours, colors and traditions.
“In the ‘90s I became familiar with the recipes of Nouvelle Cuisine, I started making my own changes and then my dishes became very successful and popular locally.
“I can also make Medieval banquets dating back to the 1200, these are made with authentic recipies used at that time.”
The love for the Middle Ages started when as a youngster he took part in the Contrade of Legnano. Even now he is part of the contrade.
Armando is a knight template and with his organisation “I Cavalieri delle Terre Tarantine”, he attended many historic commemorations.
He also received a certificate of Pizza chef, from the Federazione Italiana Pizzeria, as only referrer in Birmingham.
Armando moved to England in 2014, firstly he lived in London where he faced many challenges.
He continued: “I found it difficult trying to bring the authentic Italian cuisine here first, without compromising it. Things started changing when I moved to Birmingham where I worked with Luca Laghi at Laghi’s Deli.
“Here we received our first prize as best Italian restaurant in Birmingham in 2018, a year later we received another prize, this time as best Italian restaurant in the West Midlands.”
Before working at Laghi’s, Armando also worked at Pasta di Piazza in Birmingham, working with owner Ronnie.
He added: “This was possible to achieve because I had the full trust of my two bosses, Jimmy and Sabay. They both also love the Italian cuisine.”
Constancy, perseverance, and a lot of passion ensured Armando became a great Italian chef abroad.