Chef Carlo Cracco of Ristorante Cracco - Biography

Milan, Italy

August 2010

Carlo Cracco is a leader of the new generation of progressive Italian cuisine. He has garnered worldwide attention at his restaurant in Milan for creative takes on classic Italian foods: pasta made of cuttlefish and pureed salad encrusted in caramelized sugar.

Cracco was born in 1965 in Vicenza, Italy. He attended hotel management school in nearby Recoaro Terme, and began professional career in 1986 in the kitchen of Gualtiero Marchesi in Milan, the first Italian restaurant to be awarded 3 Michelin stars and the home of Italian nouvelle cuisine. In 1988, he joined Relais & Châteaux-La Meridiana in Garlenda for a year, before gaining further experience at the “temples” of French gastronomy – Alain Ducasse at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo and Alain Sanderens at the Lucas Carton in Paris. Returning to his native Italy in 1991, he took up the position as head chef at L’Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence, which earned 3 Michelin stars in 1993/94 under his exacting management.

That same year he was approached by his former employer and friend Marchesi, who asked if he would help him open a new restaurant, L’Albereta, in Erbusco. After three successful years working alongside Marchesi, Cracco finally decided to open his own restaurant, Le Clivie, in Piobesi D’Alba in 1996. The restaurant was awarded its first Michelin star a year later.

In 2000, the Stoppani family – owners of the famous Peck delicatessen in Milan – approached Cracco and offered him the opportunity of a new joint venture, restaurant Cracco-Peck. The following year the restaurant opened to great critical acclaim and within three years it had obtained 2 Michelin stars. In July 2007, Cracco took over the restaurant and renamed it simply, Ristorante Cracco. That same year it was voted onto Restaurant Magazine’s “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” list and obtained 2 Michelin stars.