Claudio Sapienza, deli owner

Claudio Sapienza owner of the Maialino deli in Edinburgh.

I  am from a little village near Florence. I came to Scotland after living in Cork for a while, where I met my partner. She had studied in Edinburgh and loved it, so several years on when we were thinking about a change of scene it was the obvious place to try. I really do like Scotland. And I love everything about Edinburgh apart from the weather. We do get quite cold winters in Tuscany, but still… You hear about haggis and deep-fried Mars Bars but in reality Scottish produce is absolutely amazing. As an outsider, I’d only ever thought about British food as fish and chips. I didn’t realise until I came here just how good it is. Before opening Maialino, our café and deli here, I worked for some great restaurants in the city. I was front-of-house at The Kitchin and at Ondine, so I saw what could be done with Scottish produce. Most good chefs here are classically trained and French-inspired, but it’s the produce that makes their dishes so good. It’s fantastic being self-employed. You don’t have to answer to anyone. But you do have responsibility for the whole business. When things go well, though, it’s very satisfying.

This is just a taster, you can browse the full article with more stunning photography on pages 167-197, issue 100.

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Interviews Judy Diamond
Photography Neale Smith