August 30, 2020
What's All the Sass About?
From Sassy Burgers to Coconut Plantains to Avocado Bites, Gianluca Mitrano is cooking up a plant-based storm over at Cocinita Miami. We had the chance to get to know the delightful and joyous Chef Mitrano,and see how this little gem came to fruition.
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Venezuela.
What was it like growing up in Venezuela?
Warm and tasty.
Very early on in life while you were living in Venezuela, you got into two very distinct professions: tv cooking and modeling. Are these two things you had always been passionate about?
When I studied my career as a chef, I started working on TV cooking for internships, and one thing led to another, and boom I was modeling. It was fun.
Was there anyone in your life who influenced you to get into cooking or modeling?
Everyone in my family cooks incredibly, in fact when you sit at the table it is as if you were going to a cooking show. They issued a verdict on each dish, and before we finish we are already talking about what we are going to prepare for dinner. Italian family, that is how we are.
What made you move to the States?
I always knew that I would come here. It was something I had on my to- do list. I did not know exactly when but it coincided with a critical moment in Venezuela.
Tell us more about how you got into meal prepping.
I imagine it was something I had to do. One day I agreed to cook for one person. That following week I had already had 3 clients lined up. Meal prepping was an amazing way to start because I challenged myself every day
What makes your dishes so unique?
Simplicity, good ingredients, and the flavor.
And your cooking style. What is it like?
I cook anything that doesn't make you feel like you miss animal protein.
Were you always a vegetarian?
No, I grew up in a family of fishermen and Italians, but I always had a good connection with all foodies. They taught me to eat everything and balance.
How come you are vegetarian and not vegan?
Being vegan is ethical. It is more than a diet and I have had to learn from scratch. The process has taken me five years. The day I am vegan is because even the shoes I wear must be.
Tell us a little bit more about how you went from meal prepping at home to opening a food truck. Where did the idea come from?
When I was doing meal preps, I literally broke my kitchen at home. I knew that if I didn't leave a kitchen at home, things could end very badly for me.
What kind of food did you serve?
It was food that made you doubt that it is plant based, with a healthy twist without being boring, but above all delicious.
What has the transition been like from owning a food truck to owning/opening a restaurant?
It has been a blessing, accompanied by a lot of work, dedication and passion, otherwise I don't think we would be talking about this, haha.Tell us more about your baby, The Cocininita Miami, all plant based restaurant. I can go on and on about it forever. It is my dream come true and we make some of the best dishes. You’ll forget that it’s even plant based. Don’t take my word for it, I invite you to eat so that the dream speaks for itself.