With Palmer's encouragement, Dante
went on to further his training elsewhere. He spent three years in Europe working
in Italy, France, and England in restaurants such as Michelin one-star London
restaurant, L'Escargot, the famed Les Muscadins Hotel Restaurant in Mougins, France,
and Michelin three-star Gualtiero Marchesi in Brescia, Italy. He also added a
"stage" in Hong Kong and Taiwan in his pursuit to explore influential culinary
traditions from around the world.
A phone call from Charlie Palmer in
1997 reunited Boccuzzi and Palmer once again. Palmer, working as a restaurant
consultant to Silks in San Francisco, decided Boccuzzi would be the ideal chef
for this new restaurant. Within months, it was receiving the highest accolades.
Dante's classic French menu with subtle Asian flavors interspersed inspired dishes
such as Seared Tuna Steak Wrapped in Seaweed with Tobikko Caviar and Shiitake
Fritters Laced with Candied Ginger. His three-year tenure at Silks Restaurant
in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in San Francisco resulted in two James Beard nominations
for Rising Chef of the Year in 1998 and 1999 and catapulted the restaurant to
the city's top-10 list. Dante then moved on to become executive chef at Nobu/Milan
in Italy, working directly with Giorgio Armani at his flagship establishment where
the restaurant is located. In 2002, Dante Boccuzzi, celebrated in his own right
in Europe and the United States, returned to Aureole as executive chef, where
he is now sharing his own personal style of cuisine.
In addition to his
classical training and broad experience, Boccuzzi's Italian heritage plays a strong
role in his approach to cooking. "The Italian kitchen is very simple and pure,
and this characteristic has to be respected. In preparing a dish I try to focus
on just two to three ingredients; and in the preparation, make one enhance the
other and vice versa. It's always a challenge to make a really simple dish, but
to make it perfectly."
Besides cooking, Dante Boccuzzi is an avid musician.
About to release his second CD, a combination of blues and rock, Dante hopes to
start an all-chef band in New York, similar to one he had in San Francisco.