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“For Italians, the most important thing in life is food. Let me show you how mouth-watering ingredients have shaped my home country.” Gino D’Acampo
Italian chef Gino D’Acampo presents a new six-part primetime series for ITV, combining lifestyle, travel and cookery as he travels across his beloved homeland.
Gino’s Italian Escape sees the chef revealing the best-kept secrets of Southern Italy - where he grew up - a region renowned for its vibrant people, food and culture, all of which gave Gino the rich traditions that continue to inspire him today.
Gino travels across the regions, from the beautiful Amalfi Coast to bustling Rome and the relatively unexplored Puglia and Basilicata regions, meeting local characters and sourcing the best ingredients so he can celebrate a perfect season with family and friends.
In episode two, Gino heads to his beloved home region of Naples, where he grew up and trained to be a chef, and where he continues to be inspired by the food, people and scenery.
Naples is world famous for its pizza and credited for inventing the Margherita pizza of mozzarella, tomato and basil in 1889.
Gino is taken back to his childhood by a visit to the Di Matteo pizzeria to meet award-winning chef Salvatore, to learn how to make a unique Neapolitan deep-fried pizza.
Gino says: “It’s the ultimate Neapolitan street food, which is a deep-fried pizza with tomato sauce. I know it sounds a bit strange, but believe me it is sensational. I grew up with it and I want everybody to see it.”
Gino recreates his mother’s recipe of chicken in breadcrumbs with a pizzaiola sauce. He says: “Even today, I still make the same dish for my boys.”
Neapolitans take their coffee very seriously. Gino explains: “Anyone who knows me, they know that I love my coffee. But when I say I love my coffee, I’m talking about 10 to 15 coffees per day.”
Coffee first came to Italy through Venice in the 16th century but the city of Naples claims to have invented the espresso. In a café in the heart of the city, Gino visits an innovative coffee connoisseur who sells 63 different types of coffee, to taste some of the varieties for himself.
Naples’ most famous and unique landmark is the Vesuvius volcano. The volcanos in the region have resulted in very rich soil, which enables the growth of exceptional crops.
Gino says: “A lot of people, they do forget that the Vesuvius is a live volcano in the middle of the city. Neapolitan people, they should fear him, but they don’t, actually it’s the other way round, they respect him, and I like that.”
Gino visits a remote restaurant situated in a volcanic crater, where he picks some courgettes to cook a sumptuous vegetable frittata topped with a vibrant tomato, basil and olive salsa, for the family who run the restaurant.