Joined :2/26/2011 | Video Recipes: 4 | Follow Chef
Houston , TX United States

Even if De Pirro wasn’t a chef, given his strong Italian heritage and family customs, he has fond memories of creating, long-lasting traditions with his mother and grandmother in the kitchen of their Tuscany home.  “Italians are about family, cooking and tradition,” says De Pirro.  “The kitchen is where we spent all of our time with family and friends, creating recipes, enjoying wines and creating meaningful traditions and techniques that I still rely on and utilize to this day, both professionally and personally” - which is why Renato De Pirro was such a perfect fit as the new executive chef for Hotel Granduca and its award-winning signature restaurant, Ristorante Cavour.


Already considered one of the best Italian restaurants in Houston, Ristorante Cavour now has the distinct and unique advantage over its competition, of not only having a Tuscan-born executive chef at the helm, but an inspiring owner who is equally as passionate and knowledgeable about true Italian cuisine and tradition - Giorgio Borlenghi.  Born in Milan and President of the Interfin Company of Houston, Borlenghi is the visionary behind some of Houston’s most renowned commercial and residential developments including the exclusive Uptown Park and the Mobil Four Star Hotel Granduca.  Based on his own northern Italian roots and customs, Borlenghi is a firm believer in creating an authentic and memorable dining experience based on the same revered family traditions and values from his native Italy.


Bringing those values back into the kitchen is equally as important to De Pirro.  “The best part of preparing Italian cuisine is tradition – every region, province, community and valley has different traditions and eating habits.  I’ve always believed it’s critical to study and understand the cuisines of the past in order to work the present and build the future,” says De Pirro.  Hence, when he’s not in the kitchen himself, De Pirro immerses himself in reading, researching and studying historical Italian cuisines from the ancient Roman times to the cuisines of the Renaissance.


The culture of Italian cuisine is a staple in and of itself in the culinary world, and with more than 20 years of exemplary experience throughout Europe, South America and the United States, De Pirro has successfully combined his traditional Italian culinary principles and extensive travel experience, allowing him to continually expand his skill set and develop his own personal style.  The core of De Pirro’s style is firmly rooted in understanding the origins and finely fragmented diversities of Italian cuisine.


“Every chef builds their own style through their own personal experiences, and I’ve been blessed to have had a variety of opportunities that have helped shape and hone my career and culinary techniques,” says De Pirro.


De Pirro started building his culinary style when he took his first bite of culinary training by helping his grandmother cook in the kitchen at the young age of eight years old.   And what better mentor and first “chef” from which to learn, than from an Italian grandmother whose own ancestry and cooking techniques are what De Pirro thrives on and researches to this today.