Alessandro Calastri: Multicultural Life

Alessandro Calastri jettisoned a promising career as a brokerage firm research analyst to follow his passion and get into the restaurant business. Even as he studied at the International Culinary Center in New York, where he earned two certificates, he found restaurant work. Today, he is the Assistant General Manager of a popular restaurant in Greenwich Village.

He is a native New Yorker, but both of his parents are Italian, and his Italian roots run deep. “My grandparents live in Italy, so I grew up traveling there every summer to spend time with them, and I still go back to Italy as often as I can. My paternal grandparents lived up North near Milan, and my maternal grandparents live in Rome, one of my favorite cities in the world.”

He is fluent in English, Italian, French, and Spanish. This background serves him well as a restaurateur in one of the world’s great cities for fine cuisine. And this is not particularly unique to him: studies show that people who are deeply exposed to multicultural experiences and lifestyles tend to have greater openness and cognitive flexibility that translates easily to the workplace.

Moreover, such people gain a deeper insight into the world, and the understanding that it can be viewed in many different ways. One example of this, which has had a lasting influence on Alessandro Calastri, is mealtime. “Growing up in an Italian family, dinner time was important and always the time when we would share food and conversation; it was always my favorite part of the day.”

Before he studied at the International Culinary Center, Alessandro Calastri attended Providence College in Rhode Island, where he majored in International Relations and minored in Spanish. In addition to his work, he also taught English and coordinated teaching strategies at an orphanage in Brazil.

 

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Alessandro Calastri: Every Day is Something New

Alessandro Calastri started his professional career as a research analyst at a brokerage firm in New York. It didn’t take long for him to decide he would be much happier doing something else, so Alessandro Calastri did course work to learn the restaurant business, and with the help of his uncle, got himself an entry-level restaurant job.

“At twenty-one years old, I got my first taste of working in the restaurant world, and I haven’t looked back since,” he says. “I moved my way up to different positions across a variety of restaurants and I’ve become quite familiar with every different angle, from the dining room to the kitchen.”

Today he is the Assistant General Manager at a popular Greenwich Village restaurant. Customers flock there for the excellent food, but as with all successful restaurants, its cornerstone of its success is hospitality: a welcoming blend of atmosphere, service, and management.

Food quality can make or break any restaurant, and the restaurant Alessandro Calastri helps manage makes the grade, according to past customers. “Deliciousness and ambience highlight this fantastic venue,” wrote two satisfied diners on a customer review website. “We ate [there] for dinner during our ‘New York in a day’ tour and we loved it. Perfect for a small group of friends, and I imagine a great place for a romantic date. The food was fantastic.”

This is one of the keys to its success, and a lesson that Alessandro Calastri learned a long time ago: never sacrifice on food quality. Customers are going to notice, and so will prospective chefs. No self-respecting chef is going to be happy if restaurant management starts cutting corners at this most fundamental level.

“I’ve learned a lot throughout the years, and every day I keep learning something new,” Alessandro Calastri says, “which makes my work all the more exciting.”

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Alessandro Calastri: Restaurant Management

Alessandro Calastri is the assistant general manager of Frankie’s 570 Spuntino in New York. He started his career in the restaurant industry when he was twenty-one years old. He worked in an upscale French restaurant, and the experience changed him forever. “I moved my way up to different positions across a variety of restaurants and I’ve become quite familiar with every different angle, from the dining room to the kitchen. I’ve learned a lot throughout the years, and every day I keep learning something new, which makes my work all the more exciting,” he says.

After he graduated from Providence College, he attended the International Culinary Center and earned a certificate in restaurant management. He loves his career and always looks forward to serving his patrons. As a restaurant manager, Mr. Calastri is responsible for scheduling and directing staff on a day to day basis. He oversees service, and is involved with the hiring process. He creates the seasonal cocktail list, and he oversees profits and losses. Alessandro Calastri has worked in the restaurant industry for many years and always looks forward to creating a fantastic dining experience for his patrons.

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Alessandro Calastri: Haute Cuisine

Alessandro Calastri has always loved dinner time. He enjoys creating meals for friends and family. He chose to turn his passion for cooking into a career. “At 21 years old, I got my first taste of working in the restaurant world, and I haven’t looked back since,” says Mr. Calastri. “After college I attended the International Culinary Center in NYC and received two certificates in Restaurant Management and intensive Chef training.” Mr. Calastri has worked in upscale French restaurants and has extensive experience with Italian cuisine. He is interested in haute cuisine and providing all of his guests with the best dining experience possible.

Haute cuisine, which translates to high cuisine, focuses on using high quality ingredients and providing moderate portions. Haute cuisine is commonly used to described complex French dishes. Chefs who work in upscale French restaurants are often highly skilled and experienced. Mr. Calastri is fluent in French as well as Italian. He loves to cook and grew up creating elaborate dinners with his family. Alessandro Calastri loves haute cuisine and creating delicious meals for his patrons.

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Alessandro Calastri: Tips to Appreciate Every Bite

Alessandro Calastri is a New York City, NY, restaurant operator who came to his profession because of a passion for food.

“Growing up in an Italian family, dinner time was important . . . it was always my favorite part of the day,” said Alessandro Calastri. “I wanted to find a job that could be like that family/dinner-time experience every day . . . so I turned my passion into my profession.”

If you’d like to appreciate food the way a passionate industry professional might, tips like those below will help:

•    Appreciation

As one who grew up participating in the world of competitive sports, Calastri understands the many parallels between achieving success in an athletic environment and thriving in the high-pressure environment of food preparation. Ensuring dinner is delicious, enjoyable and satisfying for everyone often requires a great deal of fast-paced work behind-the-scenes, and appreciating that effort can help to enhance the overall meal experience.

•    Wait

After taking one bite, set down your utensils and wait. Chew it, swallow it, perhaps sip your drink and then pick up your utensils for another bite.

If you’d like to join restaurant professionals like Alessandro Calastri, consider speaking with one in your area for insights and advice.

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Alessandro Calastri: How to Appreciate Your Food

As one who grew up participating in the world of competitive sports, Alessandro Calastri understands the many parallels between achieving success in an athletic environment and thriving in the high-pressure atmosphere of an in-demand restaurant. As Calastri knows, the fast-paced, high-energy setting of a busy restaurant relies heavily on many of the same principles that are so central to athletic competition; those needed not only to remain a competitive industry stalwart, but also to continually meet and even exceed the expectations of customers, management and staff on a daily basis.

Alessandro Calastri

As both a former athlete and current professional restaurateur, Alessandro Calastri knows the values and similarities each field shares; those that underline and fuel the success of athletes and restaurant staff alike.

Teamwork

Much like a sports team, the people that compose a professional restaurant staff must work together at all times to ensure a superlative dining experience for every customer. From chefs and wait staff to hosts, bussers and more, everyone must be able to function together and toward a common goal in order to succeed.

Competitiveness

Athletes are in a state of constant competition, not only against other teams, but against one another. This helps to ensure everyone is performing their best at any given moment, as well as to create a better, more cohesive unit.

The same goes for those on the restaurant business. An atmosphere that promotes and rewards competition helps to encourage each individual to perform at their very best, and helps to elevate the quality of the experience in the process.

Pressure and Pace

The best athletes not only function well under pressure; they thrive. The ability to consistently overcome the demands of pressure and and go beyond expectations is what separates the good from the great.

Restaurants tend to be fast-paced, pressurized environments. To succeed, one must be able to not only navigate the potential perils of that pressure, but to do so with grace.

For Restaurateur Alessandro Calastri, the experience of working in restaurants has been a transformative one. Not only has Calastri built an impressive career in the industry; he has enjoyed the opportunity to shape and strengthen his character, to grow as a person, and to become a more humble human being.

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Alessandro Calastri: Working as a Restaurant Manager

Alessandro Calastri is a restaurant manager in New York City, NY. He has years of experience and is passionate about his field.

Below are some of Alessandro Calastri’s many thoughts on his career, taken from a 2017 interview:

•    Family Dinner Time

“Growing up in an Italian family, dinner time was important and always the time when we would share food and conversation,” said Mr. Calastri. “I wanted to find a job that could be like that . . . It didn’t take long for me to figure out the equation that people + food = restaurant, so I turned my passion into my profession.”

•    Exciting

“I moved my way up to different positions across a variety of restaurants and I’ve become quite familiar with every different angle,” he reflected. “Every day I keep learning something new, which makes my work all the more exciting.”

If you would like to join professionals like Alessandro Calastri in the restaurant industry, look for related jobs in your area and start moving up the ranks as he did. Seek training from organizations like the International Culinary Center once you’re certain it’s the career for you.

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