Chef Sofia Gallo

Chef Sofia Gallo, a name that resonates with the flavours of Southern Italy, has made a significant impact on the culinary world, particularly in the UK, following her notable appearance on BBC's MasterChef UK in 2021, where she reached the quarterfinals. Her journey in the culinary world is deeply rooted in her childhood experiences in the Cilento area of Southern Italy, a UNESCO National Park renowned for its rich culinary traditions​​.
Sofia's culinary journey took a pivotal turn during the COVID-19 pandemic when she transformed the challenge into an opportunity by starting virtual cooking classes that attracted global participants. This initiative was a reflection of her adaptability and passion for sharing her culinary heritage. Sofia's foray into MasterChef UK was encouraged by a friend who believed in her talent, leading her to participate after four years of persuasion. The competition was a rigorous process involving multiple stages, including the creation of a signature dish, a challenge using specific ingredients, and interviews with the producers​​.

Her background from the Cilento region profoundly influences her cooking and teaching. Sofia reminisces about her early experiences with food in her family, where gatherings always centred around feasts. Her experiences, from helping her nonna make cheese to collecting eggs and following her grandpa to the vineyard, have deeply influenced her culinary philosophy. Sofia shares a particular fondness for 'Fusilli Cilentani', a pasta that holds a special place in the culinary traditions of her hometown. This pasta, along with its history and the communal process of making it, reflects the cucina povera philosophy of making do with what is available, a principle that underlies much of Italian cooking​​.

Her aspiration doesn't stop at teaching cooking; Sofia dreams of opening a classic Italian eatery and ultimately creating a retreat where people can learn to cook while taking a break from their busy lives. This vision underscores her belief in the therapeutic benefits of cooking, not just as a means to prepare food but as a process that offers structure and distraction, beneficial to mental well-being

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