Nadia Santini

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Nadia Santini
Culinary career
Cooking styleItalian cuisine

Nadia Santini is an Italian chef, best known for her restaurant Dal Pescatore, in Canneto sull'Oglio, Lombardy which has held three Michelin stars since 1996.


Santini was taught to cook at a young age by her future husband's great grandmother, Teresa.[1] She has a cooking philosophy around the idea of a small restaurant, saying "'I think it is impossible for a woman to run a kitchen that serves 100 people. I can't give my heart to a dish if I am cooking for more than 30."[2]

Her restaurant Dal Pescatore is located in the hamlet of Canneto sull'Oglio in Lombardy, Italy.[3] The restaurant is an extended trattoria,[1] and was originally opened by Santini's husband's great grandparents in the 1910s. Nadia took over the running of the restaurant alongside her husband in 1974.[4] In 1996, the restaurant was awarded three Michelin stars,[5] with Santini becoming the first female chef in Italy to earn that level of accolade.[6]

In 2010, German filmmaker Lutz Hachmeister created a television documentary called Three Stars, which Santini starred in amongst other chefs from Michelin starred restaurants. Her appearance in the documentary stood out, being described by critics as a "radiant personality and gentle, Old World approach to the nurturing of recipes, colleagues, and clientele provide the counterpoint to frenetic, confrontational kitchens run by scientist-chefs".[7]

Santini has been highly regarded by other chefs, including French chef Anne-Sophie Pic who described her as "extraordinary" and an inspiration,[8] and British chef Angela Hartnett has described Santini as one of her "heroes".[9]

2013 saw Nadia being christened 2013 Veuve Clicquot World's Best Female chef from The World's 50 Best Restaurants by Restaurant magazine.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Santini is married to her husband Antonio,[3] who also works in Santini's restaurant but in reception rather than the kitchen.[9] They met whilst at the University of Milan.[11]


  1. ^ a b "Trattoria tradition spurs women chefs". China Daily. 13 May 2006. Retrieved 18 August 2012. (subscription required)
  2. ^ Ferguson, Euan (25 March 2007). "Michelin women". The Observer. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  3. ^ a b Hopkinson, Simon (5 July 1997). "Star Struck". The Independent. Retrieved 18 August 2012. (subscription required)
  4. ^ Mariani, John (1 May 1999). "The Best Restaurant in the World". Esquire. Retrieved 18 August 2012. (subscription required)
  5. ^ "Dal Pescatore". The Worlds 50 Best Restaurants. Archived from the original on 5 May 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  6. ^ "World's 50 best restaurants 2011". The Guardian. 18 April 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
  7. ^ Page, Janice (21 December 2011). "World's top-ranked chefs shoot for the stars". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 18 August 2012. (subscription required)
  8. ^ Long, Louisa (19 June 2011). "Anne-Sophie Pic". The Independent on Sunday. Retrieved 18 August 2012. (subscription required)
  9. ^ a b Harnett, Angela (16 October 2005). "Women in White". The Independent on Sunday. Retrieved 18 August 2012. (subscription required)
  10. ^ "". External link in |title= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)
  11. ^ "Star Chefs". Lavazza. Retrieved 18 August 2012.[permanent dead link]