Gruppo Italiano (GI) Welcomes Pastry Chef Pietro Macellaro

Joelle Grosso (May 10, 2017)
Gruppo Italiano (GI) and Il Gattopardo Group recently put on a rare Italian pastry baking demonstration by famed Pastry Chef, Pietro Macellaro. The i-Italy team got the opportunity to talk to the master chocolatier as well as the owner of Italian fine dining restaurants, Gianfranco Sorrentino, in an exclusive interview.

At the International Culinary Center, New York’s top-tier culinary school, Gianfranco Sorrentino welcomed the renowned pastry chef, Pietro Macellaro, to teach the tricks of the trade to the public. Gianfranco along with his wife Paula Bolla Sorrentino and Executive Chef Vito Gnazzo own Il Gattopardo and The Leopard at des Artistes, two acclaimed authentic southern Italian fine dining restaurants. Macellaro demonstrated how to create his special summer dessert, Lemon and White Sesame Agricultural Cake, which can soon be found on the spring/summer menus at Sorrentino’s restaurants. Macellaro explains how this recipe was “created with fantastic ingredients from the farm, complete with beautiful, detailed decoration, but also very easy and convenient to carry!”

Farm to Fork

The focus of this special dessert is the simplicity of its ingredients, everything is natural and was originally produced using only what Macellaro grew from his farm in the south of Italy. Sorrentino sings his pastry chefs prasies to i-Italy: “Pietro Macellaro is a very unique baker. He only uses products that he himself cultivates in his town Piaggine, which is in the center of Cilento. There was this interest from the students and the people that came regarding the products and the quality of these products, which is extremely important. This rediscovering of ancient grains. When these flours were used, there were no intolerances, gluten free, etc. We say that it’s a return to the roots, using uncontaminated ingredients. This is what makes Italian products strong–the quality of the products.”

Macellaro describes himself as a baker but “a bit different kind of baker.” He likes to cultivate and produce ingredients that are then transformed in the bakery. “This is where innovative products are born that are not only different but healthier,” he adds. At this special event, he also presented chocolates mixed with wild oregano and lemon in addition to fusing wild apples with fresh basil. 

The Tradition Behind the Products

With over 30 years of experience in restaurant management at properties including Quisisana Hotel in Capri, Dorchester Hotel in London, Four Seasons Hotel in Tokyo, and Sette MoMA Restaurant at the Museum of Modern Art here in NYC, Sorrentino is excited to teach and promote authentic Italian cuisine. When discussing the students enrolled at the International Culinary Center, he says, “these guys are the chefs of the future so it is important to educate them on the quality of Italian products, how to use them, and explain that behind them there’s a story, a culture, and a tradition of how to use them.”

Chef Macellaro and Chef Vito never met each other despite the fact that they grew up just twelve miles apart in the province of Salerno, they now find themselves incubating a passion for their respective culinary arts that have lead them to the top of their fields. They are currently working closely to complete the upcoming dessert menus at both Il Gattopardo and The Leopard at des Artistes where you can expect to see impeccably-designed and meticulously-crafted sweets in a variety of forms. “We respect each other, because we have the same approach to food – the same respect and pride in what we do,” says the chef, referring to their traditional Italian approach to creating cuisine.

Please visit Il Gattopardo on West 54th Street or The Leopard at des Artistes on West 67th Street to try out the new artisanal dessert menu for yourself!


GI’s mission is to popularize authentic Italian cuisine, Italian wines and Italian products, and enhance their image in the United States through education, member restaurants and promotions. The organization provides a constant flow of information about Italian cuisine to member restaurants, US press, culinary schools, importers, distributors and general consumers with a serious interest in authentic Italian food. 

For more information on Gruppo Italiano and for membership information, please visit the website at, or contact Gianfranco Sorrentino at 212-246-0412.





Select one to show comments and join the conversation