A chat with Masterchef Pro finalist, Yann Florio

Updated: Oct 17

At Cépage, we've worked with Yann a number of times, conjuring decadent, world-class wine and food pairings for private clients which have stopped them in their tracks. Such pairings have included a selection of Spanish Tamales with Didier Dagueneau's Astéroïde, roast Gammon with Massetto 2010, and a prolific 1945 Sandeman Port to finish...


Yann has a multitude of culinary talents, pushing the boundaries of gastronomy and delivering his services to a wide selection of guests. We've had quick a chat about his love for food and wine, culinary ethos and how it all started.


What was your first gastronomic memory?

My grandmother cooking an amazing “Petit Salé” in her kitchen.

I suppose I never really paid attention to how amazing her cooking was growing up, I was often coming back from school and just sat at the table and ate the things she prepared. I never truly realised how lucky I was to have such extraordinary food everyday. That pretty much set the standards for me.


When did you know you wanted to become a chef?

I'm from a broken family, when I was 8 years old my parents divorced and that pretty much messed things up so I realised very quickly that I needed to pick something to focus my energy in and cheffing came pretty naturally.


Who are your culinary inspirations?

Well that’s a pretty easy one to answer… my culinary hero is Maïté. If you don’t know who she is then I strongly recommend you to check her out on archive footage on youtube. “La cuisine des mousquetaires” was the name of the programme. She’s awesome.

Is there a particular region that you gravitate towards when cooking?

I’m from the North East of France (Lorraine) so my cooking is very much inspired by these parts. I’m also half Italian (hence my surname…). So a big mishmash of all this plus everything in between.


Explain to us your ethos when it comes to selecting your ingredients.

I work closely with my suppliers and ended up developing friendships that way. I always talk to them and ask them for advice and what’s good . Communication is key and I think if we where more in touch with the way we supply our food the world would be a much better place.


So far in your career, what has been your proudest moment as a chef?

Becoming a finalist in Masterchef the professional 2019 was a big achievement for sure.


What is your ultimate food and wine pairing?

That one I credit my girlfriend Loraine for this. Red wine and bitter chocolate… Phenomenal!


Has there ever been an ‘off the wall’ food and wine pairing that has blown your mind?

People consider red wine and fish to be pretty unconventional… I strongly disagree. Best thing ever.


What is the oldest wine you’ve ever tried?

A 1958 Porto was the oldest thing I have tried.

How do people go about trying your food?

These days I’m doing a lot of private events but I want to focus more on pop ups and ultimately re-open a place soon.


Which type of wines do you enjoy drinking at home?

I always go towards the Burgundy region for red wines, in my opinion the most versatile wines to pair with pretty much everything. Lately I have been drinking a lot of orange wines and bio dynamic whites from Austria. I love Grüner Veltliner, which makes pretty fantastic wines


Name your top 5 restaurants in London to go to.

Casse Croûte

Kol

Noble Rot

Brasserie Zédel

Casa Fofó


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