Andrea Merenda

Growing up in my mom’s kitchen in Gallipoli 🇮🇹, surrounded by all those fantastic smells, I knew I wanted to be a chef. Even though I had to leave home to pursue my culinary dreams, I never lost my passion for my homeland’s cuisine. It’s not just a job to me—it’s like my destiny, something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid.

Traveling the world opened my eyes to many different flavors and cooking styles. It’s like I collected all these cool ideas and brought them back home with me. Now, whipping up dishes with local ingredients feels like creating a work of art full of colors and tastes that not just pop but also tell a story full of heritage.

Seeing people enjoy my food is the best feeling ever. All the hard work and long hours in the kitchen pay off when I see those smiles. I feel so lucky to work with fresh ingredients and turn them into something special every day.

Looking ahead, I’m excited to keep learning and trying new things in the kitchen. There’s always room to grow and experiment, and I’m ready to take on whatever challenges come my way. Apron on, game face on—I’m here to cook up a storm and have a blast doing it!

What is your favorite street food?


Which restaurant or food stand do you recommend? (Different from yours) (Add its Instagram handle if possible)

Erminia cucina agricola

What is your guilty pleasure?


What ingredient do you find overrated?


What ingredient do you think is underrated?


What is your favorite kitchen tool?

Frying pan

What is your worst kitchen nightmare?