1 Michelin Star Chefs: Adolfo De Cecco, chef owner, Casa Fofó

The  Staff Canteen

Adolfo De Cecco is the chef and owner of Casa Fofó in Hackney, London.

Named after the chef's grandfather, the restaurant opened in the spring of 2019, and, with the ex-Pidgin chef at the helm, was an instant hit with guests and critics alike.

Casa Fofó

Casa Fofo photo credit Michelin UK

158 Sandringham Rd,

Clapton, London E8 2HS

Opening hours:

Monday    Closed
Tuesday    Closed
Wednesday    6–9:30pm
Thursday    6–9:30pm
Friday    6–10pm
Saturday    12:30–2pm, 6–10pm
Sunday    12:30–2pm, 6–9:30pm

Website and reservations:  casafofolondon.co.uk

Telephone: 020 3021 0747

Twitter: @ClaridgesHotel

Instagram: @daviesandbrook

Facebook: @daviesandbrook

biography

Adolfo first entered a professional kitchen when he was 19.

After graduating from high school, he went to Amsterdam on a gap year. 

It was in the Dutch capital that he started working as a kitchen porter in an Italian restaurant, and, as he describes it, "this is where it all started."

After three years of learning the basics there, the young chef moved back to Italy and went to culinary school.

This gave him the opportunity to start working in high standard restaurants - first at Perbellini, then a two Michelin star restaurant, where he worked for two years - then at “De Pisis” in Venice.

Next, he moved to Sydney in Australia, working at Tetsuya's - a 2 hat, restaurant; then to Brisbane ranked 4th on the San Pellegrino 50 Best list - and at a restaurant called Aria. 

Upon his return to Europe, the chef moved to London, where he landed a job at Galvin at Windows.

After suffering an injury, the chef was left unable to work for two years.

When he had recovered he followed a friend and fellow chef's advice to join him at the Corinthia Hotel, which he did, and worked there for a year. 

It was at this point that the chef was offered the head chef position at Pidgin, which for many placed him on the culinary map prior to launching his own restaurant, Casa Fofó.

What the guides say...

Michelin

 

 

Casa Fofó

Since he began working in restaurants, the chef always dreamt of having his name above the door. 

One day when he was working at Pidgin, he saw an empty venue in his home borough of Hackney. He went to visit, and, he said, "I felt right away that it was going to be the one."

He and his girlfriend invested all of their savings to refurbish the site and make it their own, deciding to name it after his grandfather, who went by the nickname, 'Fofò.

The 'Casa' (home in Italian) prefix is there for guests to feel welcomed into a homely establishment, not a formal, stuffy restaurant. 

Adolfo de Cecco and his food style

Adolfo describes the food at Casa Fofó as the result of collaboration between the team, a mix of everyone's experiences and ideas. 

He said: "Our approach to cooking is very instinctive and dictated by the produce we have available at that particular moment."

Sourcing only seasonal ingredients from producers whose ethos is similar to their own, he explained, "they love their jobs as we do love ours; the meat we use comes from respectfully raised animals, the fish is sustainably caught and the veg is organically grown."

Naming Tetsuya Wakuda as one of the most influential people in his career, Adolfo describes the chef's approach as "something that I had never seen nor experienced before."

"There was a maniacal research for the best produce, ingredients had to be treated respectfully and there was a minimalistic approach to cooking, which is what Japanese cuisine is known for," he said, adding that "these three points remain at the core of my philosophy and have shaped the chef I became later on."

Awards, accolades, books and Tv Appearances

When it opened, Casa Fofó was reviewed by the usual suspects - Time Out, The Infatuation, Conde Nast Traveller, the Evening Standard and Vogue, among others - before receiving a Michelin star in the 2021 guide.

Photo credit: Eleanor Field

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 11th June 2021

1 Michelin Star Chefs: Adolfo De Cecco, chef owner, Casa Fofó