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At the age of 15 Maurizio Cutrignelli enrolled in the Instituto Professionale Alberghiero di Stato Armando Perotti in Bari, Italy. The Instituto is a State culinary school for chefs, waiters and bartenders. Maurizio entered the Instituto as a student of waiting and bartending since there was no room in the chef's program, and learned to cook by theory.
Quickly rising to top of his class. Maurizio began working seasonally in hotels and resorts at 16 years of age. He worked throughout Italy and Holland honing his skills. In October of 1993 Maurizio moved to Morgan Hill, California where he learned to speak English while waiting tables in Casa Mia, a local Italian restaurant operated by a friend originally from Bari.
Always one to capitalize on an opportunity, in 1994 he opened Piccolo, a small Italian deli, that became an immediate success. In 1996 Piccolo was named 'Best Sandwich in the South Valley' by Metro Magazine. Four years later in May 1998 he opened Maurizio's Restaurant, a quaint little house renovated and decorated by Maurizio and his father, Michele (on vacation from Bari). But as time would tell, and opportunity arose, he was able to buy a building in downtown Morgan Hill, formerly Jack's Steakhouse. The restaurant opened January 2001 after 2½ months of completely renovating and remodeling the old building. When a faltering economy and an expanding family clashed, Maurizio decided to return to a smaller, more manageable space — his current location at 25 East First Street, which opened February 2004.
Maurizio has become a well-known and respected chef in Morgan Hill. He emphasizes fresh ingredients of the highest quality and focuses on customer satisfaction. His enthusiasm for cooking and care for his customers are reflected in his restaurant daily. His welcoming greeting and personal touch is evident throughout your meal. He is constantly improving his restaurant. Maurizio's long term goal is for he, his wife, Sara, and their family to return to Italy and establish what he refers to as an 'agri/turismo' (agriculture and tourism) business. He visualizes a castle on a farmland in Brescia where he would use half of his produce in the restaurant/hotel. He plans to offer tourist/cooking package vacations for Americans. This package would include food, airfare, lodging, cooking classes and day trips. Brescia is a serene area, located close to a lake and the mountains, and is between ½ and 3½ hours from Venice, Florence, Switzerland, Rome, Bologna, and Austria.
Maurizio and his wife, Sara, were married January 2002 in his hometown, Bari, Italy. They have three children. In January 2006 he made official what he's known since he first came to the U.S. from Italy in 1993: Morgan Hill is home. After months of study and years of winding his way through the bureaucracy, Maurizio became an American citizen.
Maurizio values his customers and strives to provide them an exceptional dining experience in a friendly, intimate atmosphere. He quotes his teacher, Professor Ponzoni: "Make your customers happy - they will come back and smile." The success of Maurizio's is a testament to the professor's wise words. Come and sample Maurizio's Fine Taste of Italian Cuisine today!