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Chef Fiore Tedesco on His Journey Through Adversity to Culinary Triumph

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About this episode

#55. In this week's episode, we sit down with the remarkable Chef Fiore Tedesco, co-owner of the renowned L'Oca d'Oro in Austin and the visionary behind an eagerly anticipated new pizza venture, Bambino. Beyond his entrepreneurial spirit, Chef Fiore is a proud supporter of Good Work Austin, showcasing his commitment to community and culinary excellence.

Join us as Chef Fiore shares his extraordinary journey, marked by both hardship and triumph. From his early years influenced by a significant hearing impairment to navigating homelessness in New York's Washington Square Park, his path has been anything but ordinary. Yet, it's these very challenges that have sharpened his senses and shaped him into the acclaimed chef he is today.

With a rich background that spans the music and fashion industries, alongside mentorship from culinary giants like Chef Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern, Fiore's story is a testament to resilience and passion. His transition to Austin opened a new chapter, allowing him to explore the soul of Italian cuisine, deeply rooted in his family's heritage.

This episode delves deep into the essence of struggle, resilience, and the art of cooking with soul. Fiore's insights into overcoming adversity, fostering resilience within his team, and imparting life's tough lessons to the next generation are both enlightening and inspiring.

Prepare to be moved by a conversation that's as profound as it is unexpected, filled with life lessons that extend far beyond the kitchen. Chef Fiore Tedesco's narrative is not just about culinary success; it's a compelling exploration of the human spirit's capacity to overcome and flourish.

Where to find Fiore Tedesco:

Where to find host Josh Sharkey:

**SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR MEEZ POD LISTENERS**:Just give the code "meezpod24" to your meez Services Manager for a 100% discount on our “Premium Recipe Upload Service- Hourly (coupon covers 4 hours. one time use only, must be a meez customer)

What We Cover

(04:11) Reminiscing about Indie Chefs Event

(05:02) Fiore's movie, Severed Ways

(09:26) Fiore's diverse background as an artist and his bout of homelessness

(21:36) Fiore's experience growing up deaf

(29:07) Experiencing Suffering and how it can lead to strong resilliance

(35:46) Teaching resilience to your children

(47:20) Balancing technique in soul in Fiore's restaurant

(54:17) Fiore's new pizza joint

(1:06:53) What Fiore would do if he had limited resources


[00:00:00] Josh Sharkey:

You're listening to season two of The meez Podcast. I'm your host, Josh Sharkey, the founder and CEO of meez, a culinary operating system for food professionals. On the show, we're going to talk to high performers in the food business, everything from chefs to CEOs, technologists, writers, investors, and more about how they innovate and operate and how they consistently execute at a high level.


Day after day. And I would really love it if you could drop us a five star review anywhere that you listen to your podcast, that could be Apple, that could be Spotify, could be Google. I'm not picky anywhere, but I really appreciate the support. And as always, I hope you enjoy the show.


Our guest today is Chef Fiore Tedesco. Chef Fiore is the co-owner of L'Oca d'Oro in Austin, along with his business partner, Adam Orman. They're also involved with this really awesome organization called Good Work Austin, which you should check out. He is opening a new pizza joint that sounds pretty incredible as well.


And all around, he's just a pretty amazing chef and his background is also something that I did not know nearly as much about until we had this conversation. And wow, it was pretty incredible. I met Fiore a couple of years ago. We cooked together at this event for Indie Chefs. In Austin, and I mean, I knew right away, just really, really nice guy and also very talented fast forward, though, when we had this conversation on the podcast, man, there's so much I learned about his background, everything from produced a movie with a couple folks.


He also grew up with the first, I think, five or six years of his life, and that had a huge impact on. Well, not only just sort of a struggle that he dealt with for many years, but heightening other senses that later on, I think had a big impact on how he became the chef that he is today. A lot of other struggles.


He was homeless for several weeks, I think maybe even a couple of months, living in Washington Square Park in New York, was in the music industry and the fashion industry, and also worked for some really incredible chefs in New York, namely the Gramercy Tavern, Chef Michael Anthony. Shout out, Chef Mike.


Anyways, Fiore moved to Austin, opened up this spot. It's his sort of take on Italian cuisine. His grandparents are from Italy, and he grew up eating Italian cuisine. And this was sort of his opportunity to step away from so much of the technical piece of cooking and get more into the soul of cooking. And man, there was a lot of soul in today's conversation.


We went pretty deep into his background growing up. So some of the suffering that he went through and how it's impacted his life. And then sort of fast forward, talked a little bit about how do we actually start to instill some of that. idea of suffering into the next generation, whether that's our kids or our team, because if we're doing our job well, as people, the next generation should have a little bit easier of a time than the last generation.


I think that definitely is true in the kitchens, right? There's not nearly as many hours, you're not having shift pay, all these, you know, doubles on Sundays and among many other things, but there's still adversity. And part of what we were trying to sort of get to the bottom of is how do you instill that?


adversity organically, safely, respectfully, so that, you know, folks can learn and grow and build resilience. And we spent some time talking about that as it relates to his kids, as it relates to running a team and much more. Anyways, it was really, really incredible conversation, a curveball for me, but a good one.


And as always, I hope that you enjoy the conversation as much as I did.


Love to see you. I feel like the only time I met you was I was doing an indie chefs event and you were, and we went to your restaurant afterwards. It was like a party, right? That's right. Were you like doing something for the event or I think you, you specifically hosted the party for that event, right?  

[00:04:11] Fiore Tedesco:

I hosted that party, which was like the first night it was before the other stuff started.


And then We we met there we were together It was either the next night or the night after at Foreign and Domestic. We did a dinner there.

[00:04:28] Josh Sharkey:

That's right.

[00:04:28] Fiore Tedesco:

Of course, you and Sergio were both there.

[00:04:34] Josh Sharkey:

Yeah, I remember.

[00:04:36] Fiore Tedesco:

Yeah, there were a bunch of cats there. I'm trying to think. Like, I don't believe Sarah or Nathan.


I don't know which one of them was there. Sarah was there. Phil Spier was there.

[00:04:46] Josh Sharkey:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Phillip was there. It was a good event, man. Anyways, I didn't mean to throw you on the spot for that, but it's good to catch up with you. Likewise. It's been quite a while, but I, because I remember specifically when we, when I met you, I had just learned about Good Work Austin, and I was like, I want to learn more about that, and then I didn't.

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