An esteemed chef with previous stints in Washington D.C., New York and Santa Monica is the new head chef at Tutti Mangia Italian Grill, the downtown Claremont Italian Chop House & Wine Bar.
Daniele Turchetti took over earlier this year after the former head chef left to start his own restaurant. Turchetti will continue to source locally and has the same “from scratch” spirit, owner, Ed Inglese has instilled since Tutti’s opened 24 years ago. The pair are currently updating the dinner and brunch menus under Turchetti’s direction.
“For me, this is a new adventure,” he said. “I want to say hi and meet everyone in this small town with local people.”
Turchetti brings something unique to Tutti’s as well. He grew up cooking in Friuli, Italy where his passion for cooking started at 9 years old. As a little boy, he went to the farms with his mom and grandmother to hand-pick fresh ingredients for their meals. He remembers his first homemade dish, Apple Tart, and jokes that his skills have come a long way since then. At 16, he worked in his first restaurant in Italy and the rest is history.
“I want to bring some more Italian authenticity and flavors from Northern and Southern Italy to Tutti Mangia. We have great steaks and chops, but I want to bring more of my Italian touch and add some new dishes,” said Turchetti.
He also detailed a small plate/small dish section of the menu he will add, which will involve more fresh pastas and sauces, new pizza selections and local seafood. The coronavirus has slowed some of these plans, but it has also given Turchetti the chance to get comfortable with his staff and coordinate with Inglese on future menu updates while running the kitchen’s current business.
Turchetti last headed Lucanda de Lago in Santa Monica for three years. Prior to that, he was the executive chef for Café Fiorello in New York City, whose parent company also operated establishments in Washington D.C., where he was head of several kitchens, but eventually went back to New York before he made the move to Los Angeles in 2015.
After meeting Inglese in 2018, Turchetti did some consulting for Tutti Mangia and enjoyed his time at the restaurant then.
Turchetti explained that communicating with his staff and teaching them his Italian flavors is how he will remain successful.
“I’ve had very good communication with the staff, they respond well,” he said.
He said one of his favorite kitchen and restaurant phrases is, “Tutto a Posto” which translates to ‘Everything OK?’
Tutti’s reopened for dine-in service in early June and is currently offering “al fresco dining” (outside dining) while adhering to CDC guidelines and taking additional measures to keep its staff and guests feel safe. The restaurant also offers takeout, curbside pick-up and delivery.