“I’m always happy and playful in the kitchen,” the young chef says. ” That’s just who I am!” But what comes across as effortless and easygoing is actually a lot of hard work. He started his culinary career when he was only 15 years old. So what was the reason he was so sure of his career choice at such an early age? “No reason!” Pierluigi smiles. “I wasn’t actually sure at all. At vocational school, I chose to focus on the hotel and gastronomy sector, but I didn’t know if that was the right decision. But then I started loving the job!”
Chef at 20 – in Abu Dhabi
Pierluigi started as an assistant chef. That was at the beginning of 2009, and a gourmet restaurant was his first employer. However, the ambitious young man didn’t stay there for long. By the spring of that year, he had already moved on to the next restaurant, where he directly assisted the head chef. And that’s how things continued. At 17, he went to the next restaurant, where he was already a chef de parti. He stayed there for three years, in the same area near Florence where he went to school. Then came the astronomical jump: Not yet twenty, Pierluigi became head chef at one of Abu Dhabi’s fashionable Millennium hotels. “This was the first time I left Italy, it was crazy,” he says with a smile. “I spoke very little English, which made it pretty hard. But it was the right decision!”
Conquering continents with the culinary arts
He was immediately drawn to the Near and Middle East, and still works there most of the time. Abu Dhabi was followed by almost two years in the Armani Hotel’s Mediterranean restaurant in Dubai, which is located in the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building at 2722 feet. But that was still not enough to quench his thirst for adventure. Pierluigi Saffioti started moving further east. Next stop: Shanghai. He stayed there for two and a half years and worked in three restaurants, all Italian. During this time, Pierluigi rose from Junior Souschef to Chef. Then, after an interlude on the party paradise island of Ibiza, he moved on to a entirely new continent – Australia. In Melbourne, the adventurous cook signed on with an Italian restaurant that specialized in fresh pasta. However, it couldn’t manage to pin him down for long. It was and remains the Arab world that beckons him and after an enforced Covid break, he goes to Riyadh.
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Now, Pierluigi Saffioti has been there since 2021. The Italian appreciates the possibilities offered by the Orient’s hotels. “I have so many more opportunities here than at home,” raves the enterprising young star, who doesn’t seem to mind being so far away from home.
Hundreds of thousands follow Pierlugi’s funny kitchen scenes
However, no matter where he is working, Pierluigi Saffioti is at home all over the world thanks to social media. He has mastered the full spectrum of the colorful internet world. “I started making these videos at home during Covid. Today, I do it together with my colleagues,” he says. “It’s a lot more fun!”
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Countless fans love his delightful kitchen adventures on TikTok and follow his humorous Instagram account, which also delights with clips filled with exuberant comedy. He has his father’s talent for acting, he says. “And I watched too many films!” says the young man with a grin. Apparently a habit that led to success, as his account show. “Chef Pier” likes to entertain himself with his colleagues, who join in every joke and clearly have just as much fun as he does. They dance and prance, stir and chop and season for all it’s worth, and also present recipes with plenty of charm and wit. Pierluigi Saffioti is even looking for a professional singer to perform a singing parody in the kitchen.
Using Instagram and TikTok to become a chef with a unique selling point
“I don’t think there’s anything like my accounts,” Pierluigi says. “People always have the image of the angry chef in their minds – I wanted to show the other side of the coin!” Success has proven him right. 200,000 fans follow him on TikTok, and Chef Pier can boast a following of 500,000 on Instagram. But there’s more. When KTCHNrebel recently named the 20 best chefs on Instagram , Pierluigi Saffioti could definitely not be left off the list! “Some people believe I just do videos all day long”, he gris. “But of course, I do this before or after duty. There is really no time for it during that!”
In a nutshell, Pierluigi Saffioti’s dual role as chef and Internet star is a real recipe for success and has made him famous all over the world. Good news, since the likable Italian has a lot still in mind. “I’m going to keep up the pace and when I get enough followers, I’m going to start my own business!” He already has the plans for this endeavor up his sleeve.