Chef Alfonso Iaccarino
Alfonso and Livia Iaccarino come from a family of hoteliers. The Iaccarino family has been in the industry for four generations. The hotel Iaccarino was established in 1890. Both Alfonso and Livia were born in S. Agata sui due Golfi. They have known each other since childhood, married young and have two sons Ernesto and Mario which work also in the company.
Livia has always had a great interest in wine and gastronomy, Alfonso, after obtaining his high school diploma, went to hotel school in Stresa for three years. Their passion for food became apparent when they were both very young. In the family hotel, after the chef had left the kitchen, they used to enjoy inventing recipes to cook for their dinner. Against the wishes of their respective parents, Livia and Alfonso opened their own restaurant in 1973, and for ten years they managed both the restaurant and hotel. In 1983, they decided to give up the hotel in order to dedicate themselves exclusively to “Don Alfonso 1890”.
Both Livia and Alfonso travel extensively, not only to experience other cultures but also to taste and accumulate knowledge of other cuisines. Their aim has always been to study the roots, habits and economics of other people and the lands in which they live - to the extent of visiting vineyards, fruit plantations, meat and fish markets, in order to discover the ”heart” of the cuisine of other countries together with their traditions. They studied the raw materials used in the kitchen and intricacies of wine making enrolling in courses for sommeliers and becoming qualified professionals in their own right. Their enormous enthusiasm, willingness and curiosity also encouraged them to study three thousand years of history of food and wine in the south of Italy using textbooks from the Portici University.
The cuisine of “Don Alfonso 1890” was created out of love and deference to the traditions of the cuisine of the region. Every dish served in the restaurant is carefully researched and contains the purest ingredients, and it is also for this reason that Livia and Alfonso grow their own herbs, fruits and vegetables (including the olives for their virgin olive oil) on their farm “Le Peracciole”. This is a tradition which Livia and Alfonso have committed to since the inception of Don Alfonso 1890. As originators of the farm-to-table movement, the dynamic duo has enthusiastically immersed themselves into the artistry of farming in an effort to share their passions for organic food with their community. This style of cuisine is both conventional as it is symbolic, as the farm-to-table approach to dining is deep rooted in their Italian heritage.
In 1992 Livia and Alfonso restructured the existing rooms above the restaurant to create five apartments, to provide guests with the feeling of being in a country house that provides the service of a first class hotel. Their pride and joy is the incredible wine cellar that is located in three different underground levels - in natural caves below the restaurant. Here they keep the most prestigious wines of the world, including a vast selection of the best Italian wines.