Life and Times
Gino d’Acampo is a British chef and TV food personality. He and his wife Jessica have two boys, named Luciano and Rocco.
Gino was born c. 1975 at Torre del Greco, Napoli, and was raised on a farm. There was already professional cooking in his family: his grandfather was a head chef for Costa Cruise Ships.
In 1990, at the age of 15, he went to Luigi de Medici Catering College. Then he worked at Perignon restaurant in Nice, France, and at the age of 19, he was head chef at Mambo King (owned by the American actor Sylvester Stalone) in Marbella, Spain.
In 1995 aged 20, he made the move to England. He worked at The Orchard Restaurant in Hampstead and the Cambio Restaurant in Guildford, and another called Pane Vino. Along the way, though, he got in with a flash crowd, got into a bit of trouble over handling stolen property (in a rush to send money home to show the folks back on the farm how well he was doing,) and was sent to prison for a few months to settle him down.
His first TV appearance was as a guest on “Great Food Live” on UK TV Food to talk about olive oil. Afterwards, he became a regular guest on it. He started appearing on the “Saturday Kitchen” programme on BBC2, and did a series looking at Italian food called “Essential Ingredients” for the Great Food Live programme.
In 2002, aged 27, he organized the food for the Gala Reception after a Pavarotti concert in January 2002.
In 2004, aged 29, he owned an Italy food supply company called Bontà Italia Ltd, and was helping the grocery store supermarket giant Tesco develop ready-made meals for their Finest range. He also began selling sauces and olive oils under his own name. In the same year, he also joined the “Ready Steady Cook” show on BBC2, and did the “One Stop Food” feature section in ITV’s morning programme, “This Morning.”
2005 was an even busier year. Gino started his own series on ITV called “Chef v Britain” (partnering with Claire Sweeney), and another called “Too Many Cooks.” He also had his own restaurant by this point called “Trevi” in West Byfleet, Surrey, and his own Deli called “Delizie” in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire. On top of all that, in Oaxaca, Mexico, he filmed six episodes for TV of a series called “An Italian in Mexico.” Sponsored by the “Old El Paso” company (a Mexican-food line owned by General Mills), the series aired on UK TV Food, starting on 3 October 2005.
Gino is (as of 2006) involved with the Federation of Italian Chefs (Federazione Italiana Cuochi) and the Association of Professional Italian chefs (Associazione Professionale Cuochi Italiani.)