Marcus Calvani
Owner
La Cantina

Passionate about authentic rustic Italian cuisine and championing local produce, when Marcus isn’t at the restaurant, you’re likely to find him out foraging hedgerows, low water fishing or finding new and unusual ways to cook local produce.  It runs in the family – he’s the son of a respected Italian restauranteur and the grandson of an English farmer. 

What’s your earliest food memory?
Cooking Steak Diane for my babysitter at the age of 9.  Did I flambé it? Of course – why wouldn’t you…

Who would you love to cook for?
My wife and my new baby

What’s your favourite smell?
Spit-rotisserie beef. It’s something we cook at every New Year’s Eve party

Guilty pleasure?
Which one?

Cheese or chocolate?
Cheese first then chocolate

What’s the most expensive bit of kitchen kit you’ve bought for yourself?
My new kitchen at home

What would your superpower be?
I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you 

Who would you love to trade places with for a day?
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. I watch his show with jealousy.  Or the Queen perhaps. But obviously not as a ‘queen’, I’d prefer to be a king!

What’s the greatest crime against cuisine?
Mass marketing campaigns that unnecessarily vilify certain foods.  Like veal for instance, which is a dirty word, but is actually a byproduct of the dairy industry

What words or phrases do you overuse?
‘Cantina buon giorno!’ 

How do you relax?
When my father goes on holiday!

Tell us a secret…
What’s it worth?

Marcus pimps (literally) his dessert of….
chocolate covered strawberries, whipped cream, chocolate sauce with paint brush, camera, and a bottle of ‘the world’s sexiest wine’ (he refused to provide the recipe!)