Chef, TV host and influencer, Simone Rugiati managed to win us over immediately with his recipes. Lively, charismatic, and enterprising, the chef has created a creative Factory House, Food Loft Milano. We met him to discover the project up close.
How did your passion for food come about?
I have always been a big fan of cooking, ever since I was a child.
When I was young, my parents worked mornings and afternoons, with the consequence that they didn’t have the time to cook for me. My neighbor Gigliola, along with my grandmothers, took care of lunches, and I was always home with them. I remember that we would cook and play, and the fun activities would end by eating the dish we had prepared. I loved this magic of making, transforming, and eating.
I was very messy, curious, and lively, never sitting still, tasting, cooking, preparing, and eating. I was happy to see the main character, my grandmother, at the table. Without her, Sundays didn’t work: her cooking kept the whole family together (I still remember her saying: “buy the good stuff, that comes good”).
When I finished middle school, I enrolled in culinary school for hotel management.
How were you able to turn cooking into work?
After school, I started working around trying to stay in different places for a short time to gain more experience in the shortest time possible. However, I realized that being inside a restaurant was not enough for me: I wanted to invent, but above all, I missed being in contact with the raw material. When you work in a restaurant, you have to adapt: I needed to give space to my creativity. I started reading cookbooks, but even those seemed banal. Later, I went to work in Parma in a publishing house that produced culinary magazines. This editorial group has allowed me to observe starred restaurants and test the cuisine of great chefs.
In the meantime, I started taking pictures and got used to the cameras. At first, I was afraid of being on television because I thought I wasn’t up to it. Then I realized how important the world of communication and media was in my field.
My television career began with “Il Piatto forte” on Canale 5, hosted by Iva Zanicchi. That was followed by <<La Prova del Cuoco>>, with Antonella Clerici, not to forget the twelve years at <<Gambero Rosso>>. Finally, I moved to <<La 7>> and <<Food Network>>.
Tell us about your project Food Loft Milano.
Food Loft Milano (https://www.foodloft.it/foodloft-milano) is an initiative of mine, a creative laboratory of excellence that makes consultations, catering, events, and productions.
I did not want to open a classic restaurant but a laboratory. This business allows me to provide all-around services that go beyond single dish preparation. In fact, with the studio, we can distribute real content, take photos and produce videos. I am happy with the context I have created: through a trusted videomaker, I have equipped myself with lights, lenses, and everything necessary to produce formats not only for the web but also for companies and television productions.
Our mission is to create an audio-video package for bands. Food loft was born seven years ago when I decided to stop always going around to create content: it was time to have a unique space all my own, with a single professional kitchen, versatile for any situation. That is an easily brandable base of operations, suitable for creating and catering service and all the various productions mentioned above.
Any plans for the future?
We’re trying to work with increasingly sustainable companies that embrace the principles of the green attitude. These years more than ever have shown how fundamental it’s the environment, even in the kitchen. I continue to specialize in content production: the ultimate goal is to interface directly with clients, providing them with a complete package. Finally, I can’t deny that I would like to spend more time in Kenya, which has become my second home.
Chef in Town- a food and beverage column curated by
Intl Editor Francesca Romana Riggio