Meet the Designer: Matteo Gennari

Matteo Gennari Interview

Combining a love of carpentry that he inherited from his woodworker father with his own passion for food, former hotel chef Matteo Gennari has evolved into one of the world’s most innovative kitchen designers. Prompted by his desire to conceive spaces for creating and enjoying good cooking, Gennari has developed a full-scale service, providing not only kitchen design, but also manufacturing, fabricating and installing.

Stunning spaces emerge as he imagines, chooses, invents and visualizes clients’ thoughts as they merge with his own. Gennari’s first all-stone kitchen was devised for a computer executive. When Gennari visited that client a year later and saw him cooking Christmas eve dinner with his daughter, the sight of the two having fun in a Matteo Gennari kitchen was his “greatest satisfaction, the most beautiful image I could ever see.”

1. What’s your favorite kitchen material?

Marble is the most noble material, and it can be modeled creating a sculpture that you can see every day and use in a carefree way.

2. What’s an essential kitchen tool?

My apron, with the trademark LECUCINEDIMATTEOGENNARI. Wearing it is like turning the key of a car—I put it on and automatically enter into chef mode.

Matteo Gennari Family

3. What’s your most treasured possession?

My family (Giuditta, Pietro, Cinzia) without a doubt.

4. What type of utensils do you prefer?

The eyes must be nourished while cooking, so the design is also important.

5. What is your favorite type of cookware?

I have a single pot/pan, nonstick, for every dish in every size. My wife’s biggest concern is seeing me arrive home with a new casserole! I’m from the Old School—glass for cooking gnocchi, a terracotta pan for cod, copper for polenta, etc.

6. Your first passion was food. What do you like to cook?

Several dishes from pasta, meat, fish, vegetables and pizza. But the important thing is family and friends. It’s the atmosphere that makes cooking a magical moment. Then—if the dish is appreciated—this moment reaches its peak.

Victor Sculpture

7. Who is an artist that you admire?

I’ve always been very attracted to Arnaldo Pomodoro’s sculptures.

Read more about artists and artisans from New York who are making bold statements.

A version of this article appeared in CTC&G (Connecticut Cottages & Gardens) with the headline: Matteo Gennari.