Gino Buonanoce & Salvatore Ferrara of Antonello Ristorante, Part One

Categories: On the Line
Kimberly Valenzuela

This may be the first time we've profiled two people at the same time for On The Line, but both men are actually on the line at South Coast Plaza's Antonello Ristorante as co-executive chefs. Forget about that idiom about "too many cooks in the kitchen". Any restaurant would be happy to have one of these gents. This one has both.

Salvatore Ferrara is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and has worked for Tim and Liza Goodell at Troquet before becoming sous chef in 2004 and then executive chef.

Gino Buonanoce had worked at Antonello since the 80s, then went out to open his own restaurant, sold it, then followed that with a stint as executive chef at Vessia in Irvine. Now he's back at Antonello and cooking with Ferrara.

We got both to answer our questionnaire and, as always, the third part will be a recipe a piece from both!

Here's the first part.


What are six words to describe your food?

Fresh, authentic, seasonal, aromatic, visual, appetizing.

What are ten words to describe you?

Traditional, dedicated, perfectionist, creative, knowledgeable, discerning pallet, enthusiastic, innovative, talented, humble.

Most undervalued ingredient:


Rules of conduct in your kitchens:

Absolute cleanliness, organization, quality control.

One food you detest:


One food you can't live without:


Culinarily speaking, Orange County has the best:

Variety of cuisine choices

What is your fast food guilty pleasure and why?

My idea of fast food is a piece of rustic Italian bread - I don't eat fast food.

Best culinary tip for the home cook.

Don't leave your stove unattended!

After-work hangout:

I'm a family man so I like to spend time with my wife and kids.

If you could cook for one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

The person I would cook for would be my deceased father. I would cook stuffed cuttle fish for him because this was one of his favorites and I would love to see his reaction.

Favorite celebrity chef.

Gualtiero Marchesi.

Celebrity chef who should shut up:

Gordon Ramsay.

What's next for you?

To cook for Prime Minister Berlusconi.

Proudest moment as a chef/restaurant owner:

Donating my time and talent to various charities.

Location Info

Antonello Ristorante

3800 S. Plaza Drive, Santa Ana, CA

Category: Restaurant

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