Francesco Pasquino (January 20, 1956), was born in Algero, Sardinia, Italy where he spent most of his young days. His working class background meant that he came from a very big and close family network; typical of a southern Italian background after the World Wars. Many families were living through difficult and financially challenging times; many had to find work abroad. Francesco was like any other child who took part in many sporty activities and had regular family activities. Italian culture is very family oriented and in Francesco’s childhood family dinners were a great event in his daily routines. Having 5 brothers and a sister would eat together often inviting extending family and friends over to sample some of his mothers, Verdina, and his fathers, Salvatore’s delicacies.
Francesco begun work at 14. He gained employment at a bar restaurant called ‘La lepanto di cecchini’ where they could wait up to 300 people a night. His passion for cooking however didn’t blossom till much later in life. In 1975 a move to London was initiated by a major hotel chain which required him to wait in London. They would serve many various dishes and drinks and Francesco was making more money than he expected. His new move to London was short lived which triggered a move to Dover and to work in an Italian restaurant. Here his passion was intensified when an opportunity arose to open his own restaurant. He teamed up with his 3rd brother Giovani Pasquino to create ‘La trattoria Sarda’, a small scale Sardinian Bistro. Francesco took up his chef’s hat and began to cook typical Sardinian dishes that he could share with his customers in Dover, something that he grew up with and was very familiar with.
His 3 year lease came and went and so ‘Villa Bianca’ was created in 1986 – 1995. An incredibly successful restaurant for those 9 years eventually being closed by developments in the areas. For a couple of years Francesco took some time out and went to work in Dallas, Texas to broaden his travels. He was an executive chef here and loved his time and the travel experience. Missing his home and a restaurant of his own he returned and he created his crown jewel and ‘La Scala’ was born. Still a popular and successful venture Francesco developed his restaurant and his traditional Italian cuisine and offered his customers a variety of dishes from spaghetti, linguini to steaks and delicious fish dishes, and his specials even cater for the more adventurous tastes for example tender Ostrich and Venison dishes.
Francesco in 2011 and beyond? Francesco has developed so much he takes his cooking and customer satisfaction very seriously. Here the idea of ‘Il Rustico’ took shape and soon it opened to the public in April 2011 stimulating the ‘casual’ dining experience. ‘Il Rustico’ would provide a takeaway service to compliment this experience for those who didn’t wish to dine in the restaurant but still enjoyed the quality.