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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