Born in Francavilla Fontana, Brindisi in Italy, Francesco d’Amuri is a son of farmers. As a child, he helped his parents harvest olives for olive oil, press grapes for family wine, can and pickle seasonal crops, and prepare the plants that they grew and eventually share at the family table. Because of this, he grew up with a deep connection to the land that his parents worked on and the bounties it yielded. He had a love for Italian food in his blood, which is why it wasn’t a surprise when he went on to hone his cooking skills and made a living out of it.
Francesco officially started his career in the culinary arts while in the summer resorts of Rimini. There, he fell in love with the busyness of the kitchen scene. He then went to Arezzo, Cortona, and Rome—places that exposed him to the richness and diversity of Italian cuisine.
While on mandatory military service in Florence, he found himself cooking in the officers’ canteen. After completing his service, he went on to work at Baglioni, a five-star hotel in Florence. He also worked under the city’s premier caterer, Ciabatti.
In 2002, Francesco came to America to open L’Orcio, excited to share the culinary tradition from his country. His inspirations are the regional Italian recipes. At L’Orcio, pastas, breads, and desserts are handmade daily from scratch. Francesco wants his kitchen to be a place where food is crafted, not assembled.
His childhood memories of waiting for the harvest are his inspiration when creating his seasonal menus and in finding local ingredients. He credits the excellence in the food he serves to the connection he makes with it along with the values that his parents have instilled in him.
Until now, Francesco is still comfortable with toiling on his parent’s farm. To him, food is important and deserves respect. He believes that the more someone becomes involved in the preparation and cooking process, the more satisfaction they would feel.