The origins of Molo47 lie in the friendship between Antonio D’Angelo (restaurant founder and Executive Chef of Nobu Milan) and chef and pâtissier Simone Masuzzo, who developed his career alongside renowned professionals such as Joël Robuchon, among others.
We chat to Masuzzo, who hasn’t forgotten that his beginnings in the world of cooking, and pastry making in particular, was a combination of chance and someone very special: his mentor, Pippo Caprice, who passed away this year. Masuzzo maintains that everything he is today is thanks to Pippo Caprice. Simone Masuzzo runs Molo47 and Molo Café: a project that has completely changed his life.
Who was Pippo Caprice to you?
The Caprice patisserie was the first patisserie where I worked in Palazzolo Acreide. It was really strange because, when I finished my catering studies, I didn’t want to do anything related to cooking or pastry making, I preferred cafés. Until I visited that patisserie. Once there, Pippo told me he wanted me to work with him in the patisserie. And that’s how it all started... Working with him in Caprice was love from the very beginning. I’m eternally grateful to Pippo, who passed away a few months ago, and I want to thank him and his family for everything.
How did you start to train as a pâtissier?
I trained in Sicily, in a small mountain town. With Pippo I learned Sicily’s classic desserts and pastries. There it’s traditional to have a dessert on Sundays and, in the afternoons, people have coffee and a dessert, it’s like a religion. After mass, dessert. I worked with Pippo for three, very intense years. During that time, my family was the Caprice patisserie. We’d make different things throughout the year: panettone at Christmas, colomba pasquale at Easter... We had a calendar of all the typical confections for each public holiday. Afterwards, I moved to another important patisserie called Corsino, which is also very famous in Italy. I also spent a season working at Billionaire, Flavio Briatore’s restaurant. It was the first time I’d done pastry making for a restaurant and I discovered another passion. Until then, I thought that I didn’t like being in a kitchen but that totally changed when I began working in restaurants.
And you also worked with Robuchon...
Yes, afterwards I worked in Brussels, France and London with Joël Robuchon in a kitchen full of French people where I was the only Italian. It was tough but it was a unique experience. When it was suggested that I work for him I still didn’t know him: then I arrived in Paris and discovered a magical world. We had an impressive queue for lunch and dinner every day. I think he was one of the first super-star chefs. And that was weird for me but I was also proud to be working for such a famous person. I was with him for a year and a half in Paris and then we opened in London, and I was there for a further two years.
And all that thanks to Pippo?
Yes, because it’s one thing to study and another to meet someone who inspires so much love for his profession. I have Pippo to thank for introducing me to the world of food and pastry making, which isn’t a sanitized world. Either you like it, or you don’t. It requires a lot of sacrifice but has its rewards because it’s exciting every day... For me, love is the main ingredient. I do this job because it makes me happy and I love it. I don’t have another adjective to describe it.
For me, love is the main ingredient. I do this job because it makes me happy and I love it
How did you meet Antonio D’Angelo?
After London they called me from Florence to open the Four Seasons Hotel as pâtissier. From there I went to a Michelin-star restaurant, then I worked in Milan with Bulgari Hotels where I met Antonio by chance. It was totally unique, straight away we realised we had a special connection. And although I was working at Bulgari at the time, two weeks later I left that job and went with Antonio to Nobu Milan. That was 12 years ago. I started at Nobu as head pâtissier, then became sous chef and pâtissier, and then Antonio d’Angelo’s deputy.
How did you come to Formentera?
I came to Formentera with Antonio on holiday eight years ago. Back then, he was already in love with Formentera, and I discovered this incredible paradise on that trip. One day, he talked to me about his restaurant project in Formentera and, shortly afterwards, I was starting to get bored in Milan and needed a change. Antonio suggested that I come here as director of Molo47 and I didn’t think twice, even though back then I didn’t know anything about Formentera or anyone here. That was February, everything was closed and we had to open the restaurant in June. It’s been an experience that has completely changed my life. Thanks to working at Molo47 I’ve learned masses of things: how to make customers happy, to take care over every detail... It was a radical change in my life. Every day is a new experience and every year, a new chapter.
Thanks to working at Molo47 I’ve learned masses of things: how to make customers happy, to take care over every detail... It was a radical change in my life
What do you expect from Molo47?
I think that Molo47 isn’t just a restaurant for eating, it’s an experience: from the food to the attitude of the whole team, who will make you feel like you’re at home. What I like most about here is that the customers all arrive relaxed. Because Formentera is a paradise, people are on holiday, happy... Molo47 is a bonus. The aim of Molo47 is for customers to take away a great memory. I hope that the restaurant business, at Molo47 and across Formentera, becomes the island’s biggest attraction after its beaches. Because I think it’s the truth. You eat really well on the island and lots of important chefs are coming here. Everything is changing fast and I think that in the future Formentera will be a foodie island.
I hope that the restaurant business becomes the island’s biggest attraction after its beaches. Because I think it’s the truth.
Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
Now I have the certainty of knowing what I’m capable of doing, I’m not afraid of anything. I think about the future a lot because my goal is to have a degree of stability.
Would you open a patisserie in Formentera?
I’m not afraid of anything, like I said, but we’ve already got Molo Café here and at the moment that’s enough for me.