Simon – The charismatic owner of Risi Bici
Part of my on going portrait project
“I grew up in Stamford in Lincolnshire with my grandparents Margarita & Petro. They were from the south of Italy, borrowing money to come to England following the Battle of Monte Cassino which saw their region reduced to rubble and cost the lives of an estimated 75000.
Despite my age I had a 1950’s upbringing with chickens, home grown vegetables and wooden outhouses which were converted into a distillery in which there were 100’s of litres of red wine fermenting.
Different nationalities bring their cultures and it seemed my destiny to either become a builder, chef, ice cream man, cobbler or barber. I’d like to add I wanted to be a pop star at this point not an ice cream man. It’s hard to describe the level of importance that food plays in an Italian household but I suppose this belief shaped my 20 year career in Italian delis in the U.K. The long story short is Norfolk offered me an opportunity via time spent in London & Norway studying to teach music and media. As time went by I built up a commercial recording studio here which I ran successfully for 10 years.
In 2012 I moved to Great Yarmouth where I live to this day. As the years rolled by I began to reassess my upbringing which inevitably brought me back to Italian food. There is a link between food and memory and through my cooking. My grandparents lives are remembered and celebrated”
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