Issue #164

Tamara Rigo

30 Grammi di Gioia

Born in 1993, in the Ladin part of the Dolomites where Tamara spent most of her upbringing in her parents’ restaurant. Surrounded by the most beautiful nature, lakes, mountains, 4 very distinguished Seasons and their colors, there was no limit to imagination, absolute freedom and the invitation to creativity all around the little her. As a matter of fact, seeing and growing up in her father’s kitchen she knew early on that that’s what she wanted to do. She finished school, turned 18 and left for Bangkok 3 days later. Always inspired by working in the most interesting places she was lucky to work and travel between Asia, Australia, Europe and ended up 4 years ago in LA.

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What do you do in your life (work and fun)?

My job takes away a lot of time, it’s mentally and physically quite intense and I really believe that – especially with Hospitality- you really have to love what you do as the amount of time and dedication you put in don’t leave that much time for everything else. in my free time I enjoy Sports, Friends, the outdoors (as I spend so much time indoors at work) and Food of course!

What made you leave Italy and chose Los Angeles?

LIFE! The US was never really on my List as a work destination, I guess Visa etc. is not easy for Hospitality workers. I ended up coming here as I was offered the Executive Pastry Chef Position for a new Opening in Beverly Hills. Knowing that certain trains only pass once I took the job and here I am!

Please share your best memory in the City.

So many good ones!! Probably the satisfying moments at work, when restaurant or Dishes receive awards and good feedback from international Clients and Journalists. On a personal level I found Friends who are family now and LA became – because of them- my second home. I’ve never had that anywhere else but when I land or come back to LA now, I feel this weird, warm “coming home” kind of feeling. Guess you don’t choose which city you fall in love with!

What made you choose this specific location and outfit?

I think I’m quite old-school in many ways. I’m sure it’s a combination between how and where I grew up and who I am. I do believe in Beauty is everywhere. Growing up in a place where you’re reminded -by only just looking around you- of how small and unimportant we are as a single person, I think we can learn a lot from nature, its timing and the beauty in its passing. If we let things, be they really somehow turn out even better without too much human interference or ego. That is also how I think about my Job as a Chef: if we give the produce the best possible chance to grow and the time needed, we as chef’s really just turn that Perfection more interesting adding textures and temperature and cooking methods etc. But I like the idea of that produce being already perfect before we even touch it. Like, have you ever had a really good peach in summer? Does that peach really need us?
I believe we should spend more time creating things, using our hands, and just seeing where they take us. It is quite incredible to see what we’re able to create with bare hands and a piece of Clay, or Wood or some paint. Learning how to play an instrument or how to sew, keeping traditions alive and giving our hands some credit. Whenever i do any Bricolage, i get really into it and deep away from any kind of distraction or thought that might occupy my mind. Sometimes, i realize hours in how incredibly soothing it is to just switch off and focus 100% of my attention to a piece of raw material that might not obey to my starting vision and realizing by the time I’m done how i just created something completely different.

Your thoughts about this project, ITALIANY.US

Italiany.US is a super cool project and I’m honored to be part of this group of Italians far from home. It’s amazing to see how life goes and we luckily have you, Alexo to catch some of it and make us last forever in a way…

How would you describe being an ambassador of the Italian style/culture abroad?

I love Italy! I love the food, the culture, the music, the colors i see in my mind when i think about its Beauty. There is a vastity of Languages and Dialects, Cuisine and traditions, changing literally from town to town that blows my mind every┬átime. The incredible history and culture of our Country is pretty unique and getting to work with some of its best produce is for sure very satisfying and makes me very proud. I mean, did you ever meet anyone that doesn’t love Tiramisu? that alone…

  • Los Angeles, CA

    04/25/2024

  • Time

    300 mins

  • Shots

    106

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A visual celebration of Italians working, living and loving in NY and in the US