Robert Marchetti is an Australian born celebrity chef and now New York based restaurateur and co-founder of Gran Tivoli and Peppi’s Cellar.
As founder and CEO of Marchettico, his hospitality lifestyle company, he delivers creative solutions that include Interior Design, Architectural, Food & Beverage, Concept Creation and Design.
In Part One of this wide ranging discussion Robert tells the story of his upbringing in Australia to an Italian father and German mother, how his youthful persistence led him to his first experience of the restaurant industry age thirteen, being hired at fifteen by his older brother in his iconic Italian restaurant, and honing his skills on his journey through the dysfunctional high pressured restaurant kitchen environments of the 80’s and 90’s and navigating a path through a culture of abuse and staff reliance on drugs and alcohol. Robert also discusses how he developed his leadership style, being self taught, mentoring and the importance of lifelong learning.
In Part Two Robert discusses his vision for his NYC restaurant Gran Tivoli and why he is self funded. He reflects on the economic impact of Covid19 on New York restaurants and bars, the business environment, supporting his staff and how as humans we can use this period as a time to grow stronger and sharpen our tools. He discusses why vulnerability is a strength and how he has learned to thrive through failure and his perspective on organic food and the industrial food supply chain. The hard decision he had to make when he was at the top of his game.
Robert discusses his love of history books, the imperative to solve homelessness and the rest of his quick-fire answers.
What We Discuss
Robert discusses the influence of his German mother and Italian father. Robert explains how they arrived in Australia after WWII.
In part one Robert discusses how the desire to have an early computer, the Commodore 64, drove him to find his first job in a restaurant washing dishes. Therefore, this was an early sign of the power of his persistence as he learned to cook at culinary school. Therefore, with no interest in school he travelled across the country to work for his brother in his restaurant as an apprentice. As a result he was faced with no favoritism he was pushed into the drug and alcohol fueled kitchen environments of the 80’s and 90’s. As a result this gave him his first insight into the dark side of the industry.
Robert discusses how his Mother taught him to make something out of nothing and how his father taught him never to let anyone touch him or abuse him.
Robert portrays the reasons for the dysfunctional environments and the pressures on chefs and their reliance on addiction and alcohol that existed in the 80’s and 90’s.
He discusses why food that is true to family roots and storytelling is better and encouraging his staff to bring their culture to his menu.
We cover the importance of being self taught and lifelong learning. Robert discusses Transcendental meditation, Wim Hoff’s training and managing his anxiety and temperament and applying all that knowledge to his work as he continuously learns.