Posted: Nov. 20, 2020 | Updated: Jan. 25, 2022

Chef Carlo Zarri shares stories behind recipes of his heart in his award-winning cookbook From Sophia to Michelle

Carlo Zarri is “a gold medal contender when it comes to promoting and preserving the cuisine of Piedmont…,”quoted James Beard Foundation.


Small Town Restaurant with Upscale Cuisine and Hospitality

He makes simple, creative dishes adding a modern twist to traditional Piedmont gastronomy. Zarri is known for his exquisite truffle dishes.

In November 2014, the renowned Alba White Truffle Fair bestowed him the Cavaliere (Knight) of Truffles and Wines.

Visitors travel to small town Cortemilia just to experience his cooking and hospitality at Villa San Carlo in Piedmont, Italy.

The 21-room boutique hotel houses a cosy 25-seat restaurant. This year, Tripadvisor added Villa San Carlo to their 10% best hotels of the world.

Zarri’s many meaningful life encounters inspired him to write his cookbook. In it, he shares some of his most memorably experiences through recipes and anecdotes.

Global EAT - Carlo Zarri Captures Celebrities’ Taste with Recipes of His Heart
Truffles are among the most prized gourmet delights in the culinary world. It’s one of Piedmont’s best assets. (Carlo Zarri/ Nikao Media)


The transcript of the interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

GLOBAL EAT: In his engaging new cookbook, From Sophia to Michelle, Chef Carlo Zarri tells stories of recipes he created for prestigious events, including the Olympic Games, and celebrities like actress Sophia Loren, former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, and fashion icon Giorgio Armani.

Chef Carlo Zarri, welcome to Global EAT. You’ve written two books on Piedmont cooking.

Piedmont Sensations was your first book written in 2004, featuring locations and delicious recipes from the Piedmont food and wine region.

You recently launched your second book, From Sophia to Michelle which won the 2019 Roero Journalism Award in the International Category.

GLOBAL EAT: What is the inspiration behind your book? Why did you decide to write it?

CARLO ZARRI: You know, after I was celebrating 54 years old, I realized that I have wonderful experiences in my life.

And so I decided to write all the recipes that I have created for celebrities, or for special events.

And one editor told me, “Do not make a pamphlet, just make a real book.”

So I started putting down all the recipes, all the stories, and the book From Sophia to Michelle, from Sophia Loren to Michelle Obama came out.

Why recipes of the heart?

CARLO ZARRI: Because, uh, for one side, I have four recipes that I say these are the recipes for my heart.

Because, uh, of course, my mother, one dedicated to my mother, one dedicated to my father, and the other two are for Sofia and Michelle, so From Sophia to Michelle.

And believe me I would never thought they would allow me to write the story, our story, personal story in the book.

So I think it’s a very special thing for a chef to be able to say, okay, I’ve been cooking for these people.

I normally saw them on TV or on the movies, and when you meet them, and you have the privilege to prepare some food, and they like it, and they authorize you to use this.

I mean, I think it’s something that you like to share with your friends because it’s something really I wish everybody can, can enjoy that.

Savour the flavour of Piedmont with this Piedmontese Ravioli.