“The time I didn’t listen to my dad”: interview to Federico Recrosio

“Forget it. Forget it. Forget it”

This was the advice that Federico Recrosio’s dad never stopped giving his boy, who, like himself, wanted to work in the restaurant business. 40 years as a maître d’ of “Da Giacomo” restaurant, Mr. Recrosio didn’t want Federico following in his footsteps taking up such a difficult career: working in a restaurant continuously forces you to be in contact with the public and give the best of yourself, subtracting time from private life.

But you can’t control passions.

“I am a stubborn” 26 year old Federico admits. At just 17, Federico attends tourism high school and works in a restaurant at night. During the afternoon? He attends a sommelier course, this time listening to his dad who advises him to specialize right away. Armed with patience and determination, in 2014, just graduated, Federico starts working full time in the restaurant business. From then on the road is uphill but full of successes and animated by a great curiosity. “ I keep asking questions” confesses Federico with a smile.

During the first months he works as a runner, serving dishes from the kitchen to the entrance of the room without never entering, but after a short while he becomes commis and then chef de rang. Thanks to the sommelier course he manages to relate to customers in a secure manner and just after one year he is called to work for “Da Giacomo Bistrot” as a maître.

At this time a new decisive chapter opens up in his life: at “Da Giacomo Bistrot”  Federico finds his second family, working besides his very proud dad and feeling that he made the right choice that makes him happy. It is not obvious, above all  in this particular historical period, full of stimuli bombardments, that a young man has such clear vision of his mission in life.

The courage to choose a path and stick to it, despite the numerous options, obtascles and overtakings. What surprises about Federico is his capacity to accept a fatiguing job with a positive attitude and constant smile, every day he puts the same attention to details and that is what he says makes the difference.

In time he has acquired the knowledge that his job for him is a necessity. Being in contact with people, observing them, understanding them even before getting to know them. Investigating character facets, understanding from how  a person presents himself the type of service he needs,  who needs a word or an extra smile who instead desires discretion. For Federico the restaurant is a school, for his maître d’ job but also for life:  his dad and the staff taught him a method and approach that Federico learnt how to decline on the needs and demands of the clients. His job becomes a game of discreet looks, kind and  imperceptible gestures, silent attentions.

Thanks to the journalist Sergio Locatelli, who notices his unique talent in managing the restaurant room of “ Da Giacomo Bistrot”, Federico find the courage to send his CV to chef Luigi Taglienti, with a slight fear but with a great desire to grow and move forward.

After only 4 days he receives a call from LUME and meets chef Taglienti with whom he sustains a long interview. In February 2016 Federico is ready to start his new adventure. The most difficult moment? Leaving the “ Da Giacomo Bistrot” family that however supports and encourages him to follow his growth path.

At the time when Recrosio was hired, LUME was still a building site. Even the floors were missing. Federico’s job is to develop the room management service with the Chef and the rest of the staff: from the table dispositions to the furnishings and the mise en place. The mission is to the find the right balance between beauty and comfort, creating a new perfectly functioning machine that assures the best experience and comfort for the client. Like the hands of a watch, every element has to move synchronously without abrupt movements or slowdowns, everything has to move naturally.

The challenge, explains Federico, is to create a synergy among people who have never worked together and make sure that everyone works together is an orderly and organized way.

Working in a Michelin star restaurant room means showing calm and serenity to guests while doing a frenetic job.

At work Federico appears calm and elegant, but in his private life he is a dare devil. He loves speed and motors, he rides his Kawasaki Z800 for kms on end far from motorways and this is what makes him feel free. His grandfather passed on to him the love for winter sports, the energy and determination, his father the capacity to handle this energy in a job that demands a lot of of it.

At 26 years old and since 8 years Federico’s merit is to have found his path.

His secret dream? Open his own restaurant with all the risks and limitations that this entails. The statistics scare him, 70% of the restaurants opened in Milan don’t survive the first year, but this does not discourage him. This is the reason why Federico observes, studies and asks questions.  His project requires time and determination and cannot be wasted by hurry or immaturity.

Federico has only once piece of advice to give youngsters that have a dream: go after it with humility, determination, curiosity,  wanting to learn and often making errors.