Restaurant Spotlight: A Sit Down with Il Fornaio’s Chef

For Chef Roberto Gerbino, working at Il Fornaio is a dream—and not just because of its dreamy ocean views. His Sicilian background and experience in the kitchen at several Italian restaurants and steakhouses make him a perfect fit for Il Fornaio. Each one of Il Fornaio’s 22 locations—scattered across California, Nevada, Washington, and Colorado—is curated to reflect and celebrate the community it’s in. Del Mar’s restaurant is complete with an outdoor fireplace and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. With Chef Gerbino at the helm of the Del Mar kitchen, Il Fornaio offers the premium-quality food, service, and hospitality that set it apart from its competition.

Truly Authentic Cuisine

No matter what location you visit, you can anticipate “the most authentic Italian experience outside of Italy”—it’s actually Il Fornaio’s mission to provide every guest with that type of dining experience. The restaurant uses century-old recipes and preparation techniques as well as ingredients that are imported directly from Italy.

Il Fornaio’s dedication to Italian food and culture has paid off; in 2013 the chain was honored with the prestigious “Marchio Q” or Marchio Ospitalita—Ristoranti Italiani nel Mondo, which certifies that the restaurant is a part of an elite worldwide network of Italian eateries that meet the standards of Italian hospitality and promotes the traditions of Italian agricultural and food products. What’s more, it’s the only multi-location restaurant on the West Coast to receive such an honor.

A True Taste of Italy Through Festa Regionale

Every month Il Fornaio goes on a “culinary expedition” through the diverse regions of Italy. During this celebration, the Festa Regionale, one Il Fornaio chef gets to craft a menu that showcases the authentic Italian food, wine, and culture of the featured region. During the Sicilia celebration (this year held May 7-20) Del Mar’s Chef Gerbino is typically tapped to share his Sicilian heritage and recipes, creating a special menu that will be served across all 22 locations.

Seafood Dishes That Are Something Special

Although the menu across all Il Fornaio locations is roughly identical, Del Mar’s seafood dishes are especially delicious. Seafood happens to be a part of Chef Gerbino’s culinary background, and the Linguine Mare Chiaro is among his favorite dishes to make. He also recommends the Grigliata di Pesce Misto, and of course, one of the menu’s six types of authentic pizza.

Next time you’re craving Italian cuisine, visit Chef Gerbino at Il Fornaio for an authentic experience right here in Del Mar. Visit Il Fornaio online to make a reservation or view their menu. And don’t forget to check out Del Mar Plaza’s website for shopping, services, and other dining options.