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Salvo Lo Castro: The Chef who Conquered American Palates from Italy


Salvo Lo Castro is considered one of the most innovative chefs who brought an avant-garde spirit of Italian cuisine to the world, and today he is a true “terrible child” of international cuisine. 

Salvo Lo Castro’s journey began on May 5, 1973, in Catania. He spent his childhood with his paternal grandparents in a house where they produced hazelnuts. Grandpa Nino was considered the “King of hazelnuts”. 

But his maternal grandparents also ran a rotisserie in Malvagna, near Messina, where little Salvo loved to go immediately after he was finishing his school. The kitchen became his favorite place, and his maternal grandfather Orazio his model. 

His attraction for cooking was so strong that at the age of 12 he ran away from home to get his first work experience at the Gatto Blu Restaurant, in Linguaglossa, on the slopes of Etna. For him magic was born there, it was a fascinating place, a true gastronomic paradise that surrounds Etna with its scents and that strikes the imagination of little Salvo who falls in love with culinary art. 

When he must choose what to do after middle school, the hotel school seems like the most logical decision for a boy with a passion for cooking. He obtained a diploma as a technician in the “Hotel and Catering Activities” at the Giovanni Falcone Institute in Giarre, Italy. 

While he crumples the pages of his schoolbooks, the young Salvo wears his chef’s uniform with passion and determination in the most prestigious hotels in Taormina: Hotel Villa Sant’Andrea, Mazzaro Sea Palace, Hotel Timeo and San Domenico Palace. 

He was only at the beginning of his journey when Salvo became the Chef who prepared Italian recipes for international stars such as Tom Cruise, Naomi Campbell, Gloria Gaynor, Dolce & Gabbana, and many others. 

After moving to Rome, he began a ten-year collaboration with the Confraternity of San Carlo, an ecclesiastical body of the Holy See, where he prepared the favorite dishes for the two Popes in office, John Paul II and Ratzinger. 

His collaborations with the most important film companies in the world continue in the capital. His cooking is a cuisine that he defines as “very Italian”, highly appreciated by the Hollywood celebrities such as Antony Hopkins, Robert De Niro, Haiden Christensen, Tim Roth. His style was also appreciated by the Italian actors like Gigi Proietti, Lini Banfi, Giancarlo Giannini.

During his long career, his collaboration and friendship with the director Giorgio Capitani was precious. 

In 2010, chef Salvo entered the main door of the Presidency of the Council, then headed by the President Silvio Berlusconi who entrusted him with the management of Givernoincontra.

His political experience around Italy went hand in hand with the preparation of the typical dishes that the chef created while traveling to enhance the local products, its traditions and history. 

And still many tasty affairs for Chef Salvo who cooked for politicians, ministers and for Gaddafi, Berlusconi, for the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano who loved mini cannoli filled with ricotta and pistachio. 

Chef Salvo boasts one of his most important collaborations in the management of the events for the CEI Italian episcopal conference for three years. 

After this amazing career he decides that it was time to leave. 

In 2016 he moved to Romania where he managed the Picasso Restaurant which in just four years, thanks to his talent, was nominated as one of the Top Italian Restaurants. 

The first of his many trips that characterized his entire life led him to achieve success overseas and receive numerous awards. 

He may not know it yet, but he is writing a piece of history of the Italian cuisine in the world which sees it included in all international gastronomic guides. 

And finally, the call that will change his life: the one to participate in various television culinary formats for the preparation of his tasty dishes and in the reality shows as a competitor. 

His exuberant elegance, accompanied by his Sicilian accent enchanted the viewers for several editions, becoming among the most loved and popular chefs in the television world.